Obama makes Haiti relief top priority

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Medical support

Early on Thursday, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said the United States has put 12,000 medical personnel on alert for conducting relief effort in the quake-torn Haiti and 300 of them has been sent to the country.

"We have 12,000 medical personnel on alert. Three-hundred of them are on their way today," said Sebelius, adding that U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will also dispatch experts to Haiti for monitoring the spread of disease.

"Doctors, nurses, paramedics, emergency medical technicians, and the other medical personnel in our National Disaster Medical System and U.S. public Health Service are preparing to travel to Haiti to provide immediate medical care to the injured," said Sebelius in an earlier statement on the deadly earthquake.

"Our on-the-ground medical teams will be traveling with medicine, medical supplies, and equipment to help save lives during the critical post-earthquake timeframe," said the top U.S. health official.

According to the Obama administration, the first wave of U.S. rescue and relief effort has been actively conducted on the ground since Wednesday night. Meanwhile, the U.S. army has secured the Port-au-Prince Airport and prepared it to receive the heavy equipment and resources that are on the way.

In his speech made on Thursday morning, Obama encouraged the Haitian people not to give up their spirit and faith to the current hardship.

"To the people of Haiti, we say clearly, and with conviction, you will not be forsaken; you will not be forgotten. In this, your hour of greatest need, America stands with you. The world stands with you," said the president.

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