Coast residents will get a rare chance to go behind the scenes of the massive earthquake in Haiti last January through the eyes of someone who witnessed the event and the devastating aftermath.
Dr. Jorge Balseiro, head of the Cuban medical team in Haiti, will speak at the Sechelt Seniors' Centre on Sunday, Oct. 30, from 1 to 3 p.m.
The event is co-sponsored by the Canadian-Cuban Friendship Association (Sunshine Coast), the Sunshine Coast Labour Council, the Sunshine Coast Senior Citizens and the Sunshine Coast Teachers' Association.
More than 220,000 people died, 300,000 needed emergency medical aid and 500,000 were left homeless by the massive 7.0 magnitude earthquake on Jan. 12, 2010.
Immediately, one medical team jumped into action, giving hope and salvation in the midst of devastation. That team was the 300 strong Cuban Medical Mission - doctors, nurses, and health specialists -which had been working in Haiti since 1998's Hurricane George. Other countries have come and gone and the international media is chasing other stories. The Cuban Medical Mission, whose numbers have swelled to 1,300, continue to work alongside Medicins Sans Frontiers as Haiti's primary healthcare providers.
Balseiro was director of the Hospital de Campana de Leogane that fateful night. His extensive Cuban and international experience was put to the test. Trained in psychiatry and public health administration, he co-ordinated the medical response.
Balseiro is appearing on the Coast as part of a cross-Canada fundraising tour for the Cuban Medical Mission in Haiti.
Admission is free, but donations will be gratefully accepted to assist the ongoing work of the Cuban Medical Mission in Haiti.