Alison Smith is a medical student at Tulane University who will be posting frequent reports from Haiti to the MTV Newsroom blog this week. She is also forwarding reports from some of her peers, who are doing medical work on the ground in affected areas.
Jessica Schuster, 25 and 2007 Tulane University, grad is the executive director of the Bicol Clinic Foundation, a non-profit that does work in Nepal and the Philippines, Wednesday (January 20): "On day one, we flew into Santo Domingo and as we were leaving the airport, my dad met another doctor and a nurse and invited them to fly on our charter plane (along with three photo journalists and two Haitian-Americans). They offered to work with us as translators and also provided us a place to stay at one of their aunt's guest homes. We all sleep outside in a tent as no one is safe to stay indoors.
"We started clinic work on the second day, waking at 4:30 a.m. We worked until around 5 p.m. and left before dark for safety reasons. Former President Clinton and daughter Chelsea came to the University General Hospital of Haiti and spoke to Dr. Schuster about a patient needing urgent care. Later, CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta also came and spoke to Dr. Schuster about the same patient. We have limited supplies, but all of the organizations are sharing their supplies.
"Yesterday evening, Dr. Schuster bought meals for all of the starving patients and we also met up with Dianne from the Catholic Medical Mission Board (CMMB) and today she is scouting another area that is in great need. The hospital we're working at has been claimed as the central focus of the entire disaster relief effort.
"There is no way to give a number to the patients we have seen, but it is surely in the hundreds range. There have been many who have died and up the road from the hospital, bodies and body parts were piled up. We have had many die in the hospital as well. There have been many amputations of limbs because the wounds are so deep and have been infected for far too long.
"The doctors do not have the proper resources to save the body parts and do follow-up care. There will be a large number of people missing limbs moving forward. Hopefully, prosthetic specialists will provide a solution in the future. Many have lost everyone in their family. As you drive to the hospital, you pass by huge areas where everyone is living on blankets or makeshift tents. Everyone is starving and clean water is extremely difficult to find. They are still finding people buried under buildings and buildings are still collapsing.
"People are waiting in long lines for the supermarket and many find that they have done so in vain, as there is no food or supplies left. A small baby was brought in yesterday that was found buried under the rubble. She came in smelling of rotten flesh. We tended to her all day and she survived. All day long, all I hear are the tormented screams of pain from the patients in the hospital. They cry and scream from physical pain and the terrible reality that if they live, they have no family left, no home to return to, and no food or water.
"At night, I lay in my tent and I hear someone crying. The sound is so long and so mournful, so pleading and desperate. Is it from an injury, or is it the loss of their family? All I know for certain is that the sound fills my days and haunts my dreams."
Head here to learn more about what you can do to help with earthquake-relief efforts in Haiti, and for more information, see Think MTV. Join George Clooney and Wyclef Jean for MTV's "Hope for Haiti" telethon, airing commercial-free Friday, January 22, at 8 p.m. ET.