Wife of British doctor in Haiti speaks

By Marcus Dysch, January 22, 2010
Israeli doctors treat patients on Haiti's streets

Israeli doctors treat patients on Haiti's streets

The wife of a British-born doctor who is part of the Israeli mission treating victims of the Haitian earthquake has spoken about her husband's work .

Dr Ian Miskin, 53, one of Israel’s foremost specialists in treating infectious diseases, has been in Haiti for a week, aiding rescue missions and helping those rescued from the rubble.

Speaking from her home in Israel, Hagit Miskin , herself a leading paediatrician, said her husband, originally from London, was battling the growing problem of infections among survivors.

“The infections are getting worse with time because people have open wounds and there are endemics and diarrhoea and so on. It will continue to get worse,” she said.

Dr Miskin has kept in contact with his family by satellite phone, updating them on the work his team are doing in Port-au-Prince.

“He calls for a few minutes at a time,” she said. “They have a lot of work and they are very busy. Sometimes there are exciting moments. He had one experience where a child was rescued after a week of being trapped. He helped treat the child. At times he has found it very exciting.

“But there are bad times as well, with people dying.”

Dr Miskin said she expects the effect of working in such traumatic circumstances will only hit her husband once he returns home to Israel.

“I think it will be something they will have to deal with when they come back, the trauma. At times they are helpless because there is still equipment and things they do not have. He cannot give dialysis and that’s a problem for people who have not had water for so long. It’s still frustrating.”

Dr Miskin spends one month each year working as an IDF volunteer, treating injured soldiers as well as civilians.

His wife said she was immensely proud of his work in Haiti: “He is a good doctor and we are so proud of him. It’s not easy for us because he is so far away and we are always thinking about what he is going through. But he is such a good man.”

    Last updated: 12:49pm, January 22 2010