The death toll from the devastating earthquake that struck Haiti this month has grown to more than 2,200 and hundreds of people are still missing, as recovery efforts by have been complicated by political turmoil. Several local organizations are stepping up to provide assistance: Build Health International, Partners In Health and the Kraft family, which sent the New England Patriots airplane to deliver vital supplies. Jim Ansara, co-director of Build Health International, joined Marilyn Schairer on Morning Edition today to discuss the efforts. This transcript has been edited for clarity and length.

Schairer: Tell us more about the mission, Jim. When did the airplane take off and what is the goal here?

Ansara: The airplane left Boston Saturday morning with a huge amount of cargo, which was mostly medical equipment and consumables. And then it stopped in Miami for four hours. We then loaded many, many pallets of medicines and other surgical consumables and then it flew to Haiti where we had a large team waiting for it. It was challenging because it got into Haiti very late in the evening and security was an issue. But the airport and the Haitian government provided security and everything went very smoothly from that point on.

Schairer: You had a lot of medical staff — nurses, doctors, even some engineers doing infrastructure work. They volunteered to be part of this mission. Are they from local hospitals here in Boston?

Ansara: Yes, there were really three organizations involved: the two NGOs that are providing the medical care, Partners in Health and Health Equity International, which is based in Newton and runs Saint Boniface Hospital, which is the largest and most advanced hospital in the southern peninsula where the epicenter of the quake was. It's certainly the most functional hospital — it had no damage.

Schairer: We know the country has suffered greatly in recent weeks, Jim, from the powerful earthquake. And prior to that was Tropical Storm Grace and then back in July, the assassination of the nation's president. What kind of response have you gotten with this rescue mission from Haitians?

Ansara: We [already had] a large presence as an organization in Haiti. After the earthquake in 2010, we helped design and build the new national teaching hospital in Mirebalais. And ever since then and we have continued working throughout Haiti. So we had a lot of staff there, Haitians and Americans.

Schairer: Are there plans to head back? And secondly, how can other people contribute?

Ansara: People can contribute online to Build Health International, Partners In Health, or Health Equity International. I can assure everyone that these are organizations, especially Health Equity International and Partners in Health, who have been in Haiti for over 25, 30 years, they have over 7,000 Haitian employees. They are very established. They provide a huge amount of the health care in the country. Where organizations run into trouble is when they come to Haiti. And it's a very challenging place to work, especially if you are not based there.