Medical Supplies Run Low at Haiti Hospitals

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Basic medical supplies like antibiotics and painkillers are running dangerously low in Haiti.

Many of the hospitals and clinics devastated by the earthquake are struggling to keep up with the overwhelming needs of the people.

Aid workers said the need for medicine generally falls third behind water and tents for shelter. But the need for all three is huge.

The shortages complicate the effort to treat 200,000 people in need of post-surgery care "and an unaccounted number of people with untreated injuries," Elisabeth Byrs, of the U.N.'s humanitarian coordination office said Friday in Geneva.

Experts said it is impossible to get enough supplies into Haiti or distribute them fast enough in a country with a devastated infrastructure.

"The health care system in Haiti has been terribly affected by the earthquake," said Joe Lowry, a spokesman for the International Federation of the Red Cross. "Medical staff have been killed and injured, hospitals destroyed and stocks damaged and depleted."

*Originally aired on January 29, 2010.

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