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Haiti

Reconstruction has been slow since the 2010 earthquake, and many Haitians continue to rely on humanitarian aid for emergency medical care.

Delays in disbursements and in the realisation of planned projects mean the reconstruction of the health system is far from complete. Access to healthcare was a problem for vast numbers of people even before the disaster: fees were unaffordable and there were few adequately equipped public hospitals.

Médecins Sans Frontières continues to fill gaps in emergency care, with more than 500 beds in four hospitals, and education and training of local staff. Teams also provide treatment for cholera, a potentially deadly water-borne disease, which according to Haitian authorities had affected 638,000 people and killed almost 8,000 by the end of 2012.

Cholera can cause rapid dehydration and death if untreated and is commonly found in areas with unsafe water and poor sanitation control. Unhygienic living conditions and a lack of healthcare have exacerbated the cholera crisis that began in the country in 2010. Public cholera treatment centres remain inadequate throughout Haiti and the overall response to the crisis is limited because of reduced international funding. In 2012, Médecins Sans Frontières treated close to 25,000 people with cholera in Port-au-Prince and Léogâne. Patient numbers increased after hurricanes Isaac and Sandy, when rains caused open sewers to overflow and led to the spread of contaminated water, but the peak period was in April and May, during the rainy season. Teams continued preventive measures, including distribution of hygiene kits, water chlorination and education and awareness activities. Médecins Sans Frontières was still treating more than 500 people for the disease per week at the end of the year.

In September 2012, Médecins Sans Frontières completed the training of nurses in anaesthesia. In the absence of other educational institutions providing such training, this course equips nurses with the critical skills they need in the management of obstetric and surgical emergencies.

Médecins Sans Frontières first worked Haiti in 1991

A Month in Focus: November 2013

10/11/2013

A short monthly update on the medical humanitarian activities that Médecins Sans Frontières teams are conducting around the world.

 

Category: Video gallery

A Month in Focus: October 2013

09/10/2013

A short monthly update on the medical humanitarian activities that Médecins Sans Frontières teams are conducting around the world.

 

Category: Video gallery

A Month in Focus: September 2013

18/09/2013

A short monthly update on the medical humanitarian activities that Médecins Sans Frontières teams are conducting around the world.

 

Category: Video gallery

Haiti: “Call for backup – all hands on deck!”

22/08/2013

Médecins Sans Frontières project coordinator Ahmed Fadel describes the fast reactions, the teamwork and the emotional extremes involved in responding to an emergency at Chatuley Hospital in Léogâne, Haiti.

Category: Letters from the field

Haiti: deplorable conditions for cholera patients

13/03/2013

A lack of funds and supplies has crippled cholera treatment programs in Haiti, leading to unnecessary deaths and increasing the risk of greater outbreaks during the upcoming rainy season, the international medical humanitarian...

Category: Press releases
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