October 27, 2005: CMAT issued a report on Team #2’s activities today. Meanwhile, a third team consisting of eight members will be deployed to Islamabad on Friday, October 28, at 1700 hrs. Team Members David Deines and Dr. Ron Mcmillan who have been in the field since shortly after the Earthquake are due to arrive back at Toronto on Pakistan International Airlines at 1300 hrs on Friday, October 28, 2005.
CMAT Medical Team #2, deployed to Islamabad on October 14, led by Deborah Exelby (Victoria, B.C., paramedic), have been camped out in Piniale for the past day holding clinics. “Not much medical aid had arrived at this town yet. Some minor amputations were performed (toes, etc.) due to wound complications and the team has treated almost 100 patients in the past 24 hours,” said Deborah Exelby by satellite phone from the field. Team #2 reports that the emergency medical need is apparently quickly winding down with a majority of severe casualties now being airevac to advanced medical centers. Majority of aid now is ‘Primary Health’ and ‘Mental Health’ related, although a few serious infections and semi healed fractures and compound fractures are still being seen. Two team members have departed to carry out a Search and Rescue mission north of Piniale today. Team #2 plans to return to Bagh this evening and further assess needs there before returning to Islamabad.
Team #3 will be departing on Friday from Toronto Pearson Airport and will be deployed until November 18 in Islamabad. This team consists of the following members: Valerie Rzepka (Team Leader/RN with experience in Tsunami relief, Toronto, Ont.), Jason Watt (Medic/RN/journalist, Pakenham, Ontario), Merle Trudel (ACP Paramedic, Calgary, Alberta), Patricia Malloy (Pediatric RN from Sick Kids, Toronto, Ontario), Yasmeen Jabbar (Orthopedic RN, London, Ontario), Anne Healey (CCU nurse, Uxbridge, Ontario), Dr. Fahim Ali (GP/ER physician/Anesthesia, Port Perry, Ontario), and Dr. Talat Chughtai (Trauma Surgeon, Toronto, Ontario). Team #3 will work out of remote hospital wards established in Islamabad by the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) where up to 700 patients (mostly post-op and rehab) will be stationed in the coming days.
Meanwhile, the weather is rapidly deteriorating in Balakot with torrential rains and cold weather. Quake survivors are falling ill with respiratory tract infections and shelter is arriving very slowly with most survivors staying outdoors fully exposed to the elements. Snow is beginning to fall in the mountains.
CMAT has accumulated a database of over 350 skilled health care professionals and construction/tradespersons across Canada which was generated since the December 26 Asian Tsunami. All are volunteers indicating they would foot their own travel bills and take personal time off work. Numerous volunteers are signing up from the Registered Nurses Association of Ontario (www.rnao.org) through an appeal they made to their 23,000 members as well as the Paramedics Association of Canada. CMAT Has established Emergency Disaster Response Offices across Canada including Courtenay, British Columbia, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan and Brantford, Ontario.