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RAPID ASSESSMENT

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Amy Umble is health reporter for The Free Lance-Star

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The Haitian disaster

Haitian homeDr. Clifton Sheets fears that Haiti will resemble a post-apocalyptic world after last night’s earthquake. The death toll will be high, he predicted today, with residents turning to crime as they become more desperate.

Food, water and basic sanitation, always an issue, will be more so in the midst of so much destruction, Sheets added.  

It’s not uncommon in  normal times for a body to lay on the road for two or three  days before somebody comes by and picks it up and hauls it  off,” Sheets said.

With heat and humidity in the 90s, “the potential for various kinds of epidemics is going to be pretty high,” he said.

Dr. Clifton SheetsSheets, left, a former ER doctor at Mary Washington Hospital and the co-owner of two urgent care centers in Spotsylvania County, travels to Haiti regularly with International Allied Missions, a Tennessee group. He is scheduled to depart for Haiti again Jan. 30.

“My attitude is that they’re going to need us now more than ever,” he said.

(The photo above, by Sheets, is of a typical Haitian home. Many of these homes were destroyed in yesterday’s earthquake. For more about the Haitian earthquake and Sheets’ experience there, see tomorrow’s paper.)   

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