News

Ross Alum Lends a Helping Hand in Haiti

04/19/10

Dr. Faiz Hussain

Dr. Faiz Hussain

North Brunswick, NJ–April 19, 2010—Immediately upon hearing of the devastating earthquake that struck Haiti in January, 2002 Ross University School of Medicine alumnus Faiz Hussain, MD, reached out to the Islamic Medical Association of North America (IMANA) to volunteer his services. Two weeks later, he and a team of eight medical professionals arrived in Port-au-Prince where they treated more than 2,000 patients in one week.

“My passion is relief work,” Dr. Hussain said. “Prior to Haiti, I led a team of physicians through the Hospices of the World Economic Forum to assist the victims of the earthquake that hit Kashmir and Pakistan in 2005, and that same year I also helped in Hurricane Katrina relief efforts.”

Dr. Hussain was joined by professionals from a wide range of medical specialties including plastic surgery, emergency medicine, pediatrics, interventional radiology, and internal and occupational medicine.

“IMANA was deploying teams weekly, so I was a member of team three,” he explained. “The first team was sent within days of the earthquake and each team thereafter was appointed for a one-week tour of duty to be replaced by a subsequent team so they could preserve the continuity of care. Our team saw a lot of secondary conditions as opposed to acute trauma injuries, which included a lot of infected wounds, active infections such as bronchitis and conjunctivitis, and pediatric cases.”

According to Dr. Hussain, no amount of media can capture the extent of the devastation that has hit the country of Haiti.

“It’s an area that essentially had no sound infrastructure or government before the earthquake, so the disaster compromised things that much more. As a result, we had people coming to us who had never been to a doctor in their entire lives with longstanding chronic conditions. In our particular location we saw anywhere from 300 to 400 patients a day. There were people lined up from sunrise to sunset.”

To increase efficiency, the team set up separate tents that were used as ‘beds’ for each patient.

“The first team did a lot of scouting and found an area that could serve logistically for what the mission was trying to accomplish. Before the earthquake it had been a small amusement park that had pretty much been destroyed, but we were able to clean up the area and use whatever structures that remained intact as part of the camp, but most of what we did was in tents. We had an inpatient ward where each tent was kind of its own hospital bed – it was pretty creative.”

When asked what the situation in Haiti is like now, Dr. Hussain noted that while conditions are improving, there is still a lot of work ahead, which he would like to be a part of if the possibility presents itself.

“I want to go back. The experience was very fulfilling and gratifying. I think I can safely speak on behalf of every person who’s gone there and participated in relief efforts when I say that it served as a continual reminder of how fortunate we are in this country. As physicians, I feel it is our collective responsibility to be of service wherever our skills can be put to good use.”

Dr. Hussain is currently an attending physician at the VA Medical Center in Long Beach, CA.

About Ross University School of Medicine
Ross University was founded in 1978 and is a provider of medical and veterinary education offering doctor of medicine and doctor of veterinary medicine degree programs. Located in Dominica, West Indies, the School of Medicine places more graduates into US residencies annually than any other medical school in the world and has clinical education centers in Miami, FL, Saginaw, MI, and Freeport, Grand Bahama. The School of Veterinary Medicine is located in St. Kitts.

Ross University’s administrative offices are located in North Brunswick, NJ. For more information about Ross University, visit www.RossU.edu or call 732.509.4600/877.ROSS.EDU.

 

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