Posts tagged earthquake

Photo: Chatuley Hospital in Léogâne. Haiti 2012 © Emilie Régnier 
Health Care Lags In Haiti’s Post-Earthquake Rebuilding Efforts
Three years after a massive earthquake battered the island nation of Haiti on January 12, 2010, the Haitian health care system remains mired in a state of devastation. Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), which was present in the country before the earthquake and responded with its largest-ever emergency relief effort, continues to manage four hospitals that were built to replace temporary structures the organization set up immediately after the initial disaster, which destroyed most of the existing health structures in the impact zone.
Tens of thousands of Haitians have received free, high-quality health care at these facilities, but it’s unlikely that MSF will be able to hand over the management of these hospitals to Haitian authorities any time soon. “The transition process is much too slow,” says Joan Arnan, MSF’s head of mission in Haiti. “That’s because Haitian institutions are weak, donors have not kept their promises, and the government and the international community have failed to set clear priorities.”
The inadequate response to the recurrent cholera epidemic—the other catastrophe that first struck Haiti in 2010—signifies the delays in the recovery of the country’s health system. For three years now, cholera has struck Haitians in unforgiving waves. In 2012 alone, MSF treated nearly 23,000 cholera victims in cholera treatment centers in Port-au-Prince and Léogâne. The number of cases increased after Hurricanes Isaac and Sandy hit Haiti last fall, causing sewers to overflow and spreading the bacteria that transmit the disease. The case numbers dropped somewhat last month, but MSF was still treating more than 500 cases each week.
There are deep-rooted reasons for this, which have not yet been addressed. “The majority of the population lacks access to drinking water and proper sanitation, but cholera treatment has still not been properly integrated into the few existing public health facilities,” Arnan explains. In Léogâne, for example, approximately 30 kilometers [18 miles] from Port-au-Prince, several humanitarian organizations fighting the epidemic pulled out when they ran out of funding. This led to a rise in the number of patients admitted to MSF’s treatment unit. The thing happened in Port-au-Prince, where MSF cholera treatment centers in the Delmas and Carrefour neighborhoods remain the only possibilities for patients and the number of patients has risen as other actors have closed their doors.
Léogâne, the city closest to the earthquake’s epicenter, was largely destroyed by the quake. Today, it resembles a huge construction zone. Most of the people who survived have found new housing, but the health sector has not rebounded as well. The MSF hospital is the only facility in the region offering free care available around the clock in case of emergency.
MSF arrived in Léogâne just after the earthquake and set up a tent hospital to treat quake survivors. This temporary facility was replaced by a building made of shipping containers, which opened in September 2010. In addition to maternity care, the hospital treats medical emergencies and has a surgical unit. Most of the surgeries performed involve women who require Caesarean sections and victims of road accidents. Staff conducts consultations for pregnant women and children under five years of age in another building.
There are, on average, 600 births each month at the facility, with peaks of more than 800. Other medical facilities regularly refer patients to the MSF hospital for treatments ranging from simple labor and delivery cases to complicated ones that require a Caesarean section and, thus, an operating room that functions 24 hours a day. 
Although MSF’s goal is to handover these activities to the Ministry of Public Health in Léogâne, the hospital is drawing increasing numbers of patients—some from as far away as Port-au-Prince—a clear indication of the profound lack of adequate care available.
“The hospital fills a gap that existed well before the earthquake,” Arnan says. “Most Haitians did not have access to medical care before January 12, 2010, whether this is because of the lack of available services or because they didn’t have enough money. We came in response to the catastrophe and intended to stay until reconstruction could get underway and the public health facilities could take over. Unfortunately, it’s been three years and almost nothing has changed in terms of access to care.”

Photo: Chatuley Hospital in Léogâne. Haiti 2012 © Emilie Régnier

Health Care Lags In Haiti’s Post-Earthquake Rebuilding Efforts


Three years after a massive earthquake battered the island nation of Haiti on January 12, 2010, the Haitian health care system remains mired in a state of devastation. Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), which was present in the country before the earthquake and responded with its largest-ever emergency relief effort, continues to manage four hospitals that were built to replace temporary structures the organization set up immediately after the initial disaster, which destroyed most of the existing health structures in the impact zone.

Tens of thousands of Haitians have received free, high-quality health care at these facilities, but it’s unlikely that MSF will be able to hand over the management of these hospitals to Haitian authorities any time soon. “The transition process is much too slow,” says Joan Arnan, MSF’s head of mission in Haiti. “That’s because Haitian institutions are weak, donors have not kept their promises, and the government and the international community have failed to set clear priorities.”

The inadequate response to the recurrent cholera epidemic—the other catastrophe that first struck Haiti in 2010—signifies the delays in the recovery of the country’s health system. For three years now, cholera has struck Haitians in unforgiving waves. In 2012 alone, MSF treated nearly 23,000 cholera victims in cholera treatment centers in Port-au-Prince and Léogâne. The number of cases increased after Hurricanes Isaac and Sandy hit Haiti last fall, causing sewers to overflow and spreading the bacteria that transmit the disease. The case numbers dropped somewhat last month, but MSF was still treating more than 500 cases each week.

There are deep-rooted reasons for this, which have not yet been addressed. “The majority of the population lacks access to drinking water and proper sanitation, but cholera treatment has still not been properly integrated into the few existing public health facilities,” Arnan explains. In Léogâne, for example, approximately 30 kilometers [18 miles] from Port-au-Prince, several humanitarian organizations fighting the epidemic pulled out when they ran out of funding. This led to a rise in the number of patients admitted to MSF’s treatment unit. The thing happened in Port-au-Prince, where MSF cholera treatment centers in the Delmas and Carrefour neighborhoods remain the only possibilities for patients and the number of patients has risen as other actors have closed their doors.

Léogâne, the city closest to the earthquake’s epicenter, was largely destroyed by the quake. Today, it resembles a huge construction zone. Most of the people who survived have found new housing, but the health sector has not rebounded as well. The MSF hospital is the only facility in the region offering free care available around the clock in case of emergency.

MSF arrived in Léogâne just after the earthquake and set up a tent hospital to treat quake survivors. This temporary facility was replaced by a building made of shipping containers, which opened in September 2010. In addition to maternity care, the hospital treats medical emergencies and has a surgical unit. Most of the surgeries performed involve women who require Caesarean sections and victims of road accidents. Staff conducts consultations for pregnant women and children under five years of age in another building.

There are, on average, 600 births each month at the facility, with peaks of more than 800. Other medical facilities regularly refer patients to the MSF hospital for treatments ranging from simple labor and delivery cases to complicated ones that require a Caesarean section and, thus, an operating room that functions 24 hours a day. 

Although MSF’s goal is to handover these activities to the Ministry of Public Health in Léogâne, the hospital is drawing increasing numbers of patients—some from as far away as Port-au-Prince—a clear indication of the profound lack of adequate care available.

“The hospital fills a gap that existed well before the earthquake,” Arnan says. “Most Haitians did not have access to medical care before January 12, 2010, whether this is because of the lack of available services or because they didn’t have enough money. We came in response to the catastrophe and intended to stay until reconstruction could get underway and the public health facilities could take over. Unfortunately, it’s been three years and almost nothing has changed in terms of access to care.”

Photo: Due to living conditions for earthquake survivors and the general population that help enable the spread of cholera in Haiti, the disease remains a lethal threat two years after the epidemic first appeared in the county. Haiti 2012 © Mathieu Fortoul/MSF
For Haitians, Cholera Remains a Major Public Health Problem
It’s been two years since a cholera epidemic first swept through Haiti, infecting hundreds of thousands of people who’d never before encountered the disease. It was clear that cholera was likely to be a recurring issue in Haiti, but even today, new patients cannot be certain that they will get the treatment they need, and little has been done to improve the environmental conditions that enable the continued spread of the disease.
MSF has treated 12,000 cholera patients in five cholera treatment centers since the beginning of the year. During the recent spike of new cases in May, MSF treated more than 70 percent of the total number of patients registered in Port-au-Prince. 

Photo: Due to living conditions for earthquake survivors and the general population that help enable the spread of cholera in Haiti, the disease remains a lethal threat two years after the epidemic first appeared in the county. Haiti 2012 © Mathieu Fortoul/MSF

For Haitians, Cholera Remains a Major Public Health Problem

It’s been two years since a cholera epidemic first swept through Haiti, infecting hundreds of thousands of people who’d never before encountered the disease. It was clear that cholera was likely to be a recurring issue in Haiti, but even today, new patients cannot be certain that they will get the treatment they need, and little has been done to improve the environmental conditions that enable the continued spread of the disease.

MSF has treated 12,000 cholera patients in five cholera treatment centers since the beginning of the year. During the recent spike of new cases in May, MSF treated more than 70 percent of the total number of patients registered in Port-au-Prince. 

I went to the public hospital, but they told me that they couldn’t treat me and I was sent to an MSF treatment center, where I received care.
Wilsème on receiving aid at MSF’s cholera treatment centers in Haiti.

Watch and share this animation of how MSF responded in the Haiti 2010 earthquake. Our teams, already on ground, launched the biggest emergency response in its history. Including an inflatable hospital on a football field to treat all the injuries.

Dattchina’s Story: The Only Free Burn Unit In Haiti

A mother brings her young daughter to the only free burn care unit in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, which is run by MSF. Many people displaced by the 2010 earthquake in Haiti are still living in tent settlements, while others have rudimentary housing with no facilities or services. It presents the perfects conditions for fires and domestic burn accidents - the victims of which are most often children.

Voice From the Field: Tackling Haiti’s Cholera Epidemic

Joan Arnan, MSF Head of Mission in Haiti, has been working in Haiti for five months, coordinating MSF’s response to the cholera epidemic that has been sweeping the country since October 2010. Here, Arnan explains the response and discusses the difficulties faced by the Haitian Ministry of Health and its international partners in responding to the epidemic. Failures in the epidemiological surveillance system make it impossible to deploy an adequate response in strategic locations, and the dearth of cholera treatment services in national health facilities—along with the withdrawal of several nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) following a decrease in international funding—are hampering the national response to the epidemic.

An MSF staff member educates outpatients about cholera at Léogâne hospital

Haiti 2011 © Yann Libessart/MSF

Voice From the Field: Tackling Haiti’s Cholera Epidemic

Joan Arnan, MSF Head of Mission in Haiti, has been working in Haiti for five months, coordinating MSF’s response to the cholera epidemic that has been sweeping the country since October 2010. Here, Arnan explains the response and discusses the difficulties faced by the Haitian Ministry of Health and its international partners in responding to the epidemic.

Failures in the epidemiological surveillance system make it impossible to deploy an adequate response in strategic locations, and the dearth of cholera treatment services in national health facilities—along with the withdrawal of several nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) following a decrease in international funding—are hampering the national response to the epidemic. An MSF staff member educates outpatients about cholera at Léogâne hospital

Haiti 2011 © Yann Libessart/MSF

Haiti Unprepared in the Face of Resurgent Cholera


Cholera cases are on the rise in Haiti following the onset of the rainy season, and the country is not adequately prepared to combat the deadly disease, the international medical humanitarian organization MSF said today.

“Too little has been done in terms of prevention to think that cholera would not surge again in 2012,” said Gaëtan Drossart, MSF head of mission in Haiti. “It is concerning that the health authorities are not better prepared and that they cling to reassuring messages that bear no resemblance to reality. There are many meetings going on between the government, the United Nations and their humanitarian partners, but there are few concrete solutions,” he said.Photo: Patients affected by cholera receive treatment at an MSF cholera treatment center in Port-au-Prince. Haiti 2011 © Frederik Matte/MSF

Haiti Unprepared in the Face of Resurgent Cholera

Cholera cases are on the rise in Haiti following the onset of the rainy season, and the country is not adequately prepared to combat the deadly disease, the international medical humanitarian organization MSF said today.

“Too little has been done in terms of prevention to think that cholera would not surge again in 2012,” said Gaëtan Drossart, MSF head of mission in Haiti. “It is concerning that the health authorities are not better prepared and that they cling to reassuring messages that bear no resemblance to reality. There are many meetings going on between the government, the United Nations and their humanitarian partners, but there are few concrete solutions,” he said.

Photo: Patients affected by cholera receive treatment at an MSF cholera treatment center in Port-au-Prince. Haiti 2011 © Frederik Matte/MSF

Haiti’s Rainy Season Brings Cholera Back to Port-au-Prince and Léogâne

With the rainy season now underway in Haiti, MSF has seen an increase in the number of cholera patients. Admissions to MSF’s treatment centers in Port-au-Prince and Léogâne have more than tripled in less than one month. 

New patients arrive daily at MSF’s cholera treatment centers (CTCs). A woman named Marie was admitted to the Martissant CTC on April 16. “I had diarrhea and was vomiting a lot, then I fainted,” she recounted. “A relative brought me here because it is the center closest to where I live. The doctors told me that I had cholera and was dehydrated.” One hundred thirty-four other people like Marie arrived at the MSF center in Martissant between April 16 and 23 and nearly 400 more went to MSF’s other CTCs in Port-au-Prince and Léogâne.
“Cholera is easy to treat but specialized treatment centers must be accessible and patients must be brought there as soon as possible once symptoms appear,” says Dr. Sophie Duterne, MSF’s medical coordinator in Haiti. “If left untreated, this disease can kill within a few hours. Treatment involves simple oral or intravenous rehydration, with antibiotics for the most severe cases. However, taking additional hygiene precautions and drinking disinfected water is still the best protection.” Since the first cases were identified in October 2010, more than 500,000 Haitians have contracted cholera.Photo: Haiti 2012 © Mathieu Fortoul/MSF
Cholera patients recover in MSF’s Martissant CTC.

Haiti’s Rainy Season Brings Cholera Back to Port-au-Prince and Léogâne

With the rainy season now underway in Haiti, MSF has seen an increase in the number of cholera patients. Admissions to MSF’s treatment centers in Port-au-Prince and Léogâne have more than tripled in less than one month.

New patients arrive daily at MSF’s cholera treatment centers (CTCs). A woman named Marie was admitted to the Martissant CTC on April 16. “I had diarrhea and was vomiting a lot, then I fainted,” she recounted. “A relative brought me here because it is the center closest to where I live. The doctors told me that I had cholera and was dehydrated.” One hundred thirty-four other people like Marie arrived at the MSF center in Martissant between April 16 and 23 and nearly 400 more went to MSF’s other CTCs in Port-au-Prince and Léogâne.

“Cholera is easy to treat but specialized treatment centers must be accessible and patients must be brought there as soon as possible once symptoms appear,” says Dr. Sophie Duterne, MSF’s medical coordinator in Haiti. “If left untreated, this disease can kill within a few hours. Treatment involves simple oral or intravenous rehydration, with antibiotics for the most severe cases. However, taking additional hygiene precautions and drinking disinfected water is still the best protection.” Since the first cases were identified in October 2010, more than 500,000 Haitians have contracted cholera.

Photo: Haiti 2012 © Mathieu Fortoul/MSF Cholera patients recover in MSF’s Martissant CTC.

Haiti: Medical Certificates for Cholera Patients

Since it was disclosed that the cholera epidemic that struck Haiti in 2010 was inadvertently brought to the island by a United Nations (UN) battalion from Nepal, many of the 500,000 people affected by the disease have requested certificates proving they were treated, in hopes of receiving compensation from the UN. MSF is providing thousands of former patients with medical certificates.

Haiti: MSF Opens New Surgical Center in Port-au-Prince


Work on the 107-bed center began in 2011 and was completed in February, 2012. The center treats victims of accidental trauma, such as falls and road accidents, and victims of violence who have suffered beatings, assaults, and gunshot wounds.

“MSF is now supporting the Ministry of Public Health and Population with 600 hospital beds in Haiti for emergency care,” said Drossart. “This is still far from adequate, but is nevertheless an advance.”
In a country where 75 percent of the population lives below the poverty line, and where referral facilities are vastly inadequate, MSF’s new center will improve access to surgical care for the population of Port-au-Prince’s metropolitan area.Haiti 2012 © Yann Libessart/MSF
The entrance to MSF’s new surgical center in Tabarre.

Haiti: MSF Opens New Surgical Center in Port-au-Prince

Work on the 107-bed center began in 2011 and was completed in February, 2012. The center treats victims of accidental trauma, such as falls and road accidents, and victims of violence who have suffered beatings, assaults, and gunshot wounds.

“MSF is now supporting the Ministry of Public Health and Population with 600 hospital beds in Haiti for emergency care,” said Drossart. “This is still far from adequate, but is nevertheless an advance.” In a country where 75 percent of the population lives below the poverty line, and where referral facilities are vastly inadequate, MSF’s new center will improve access to surgical care for the population of Port-au-Prince’s metropolitan area.

Haiti 2012 © Yann Libessart/MSF
The entrance to MSF’s new surgical center in Tabarre.

In honor of the one year anniversary of the earthquake and it’s results in Northeastern Japan, we’ll be posting a series of photographs from MSF’s work during the crisis in 2011.

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A month after the earthquake and tsunamis struck, MSF teams in Japan had performed around 1,700 consultations."Photo:© Giulio Di Sturco VII Mentor

In honor of the one year anniversary of the earthquake and it’s results in Northeastern Japan, we’ll be posting a series of photographs from MSF’s work during the crisis in 2011.

" A month after the earthquake and tsunamis struck, MSF teams in Japan had performed around 1,700 consultations."

Photo:© Giulio Di Sturco VII Mentor

In honor of the one year anniversary of the earthquake and it’s results in Northeastern Japan, we’ll be posting a series of photographs from MSF’s work during the crisis in 2011.

"On March 11, a 9.0 magnitude earthquake struck off the coast of the Northeast. The quake caused a series of massive tsunamis that flattened coastal areas and swept up to six miles or 10 km inland. MSF sent a team into the region by helicopter the day after disaster struck.."Photo:© Giulio Di Sturco VII Mentor

In honor of the one year anniversary of the earthquake and it’s results in Northeastern Japan, we’ll be posting a series of photographs from MSF’s work during the crisis in 2011.

"On March 11, a 9.0 magnitude earthquake struck off the coast of the Northeast. The quake caused a series of massive tsunamis that flattened coastal areas and swept up to six miles or 10 km inland. MSF sent a team into the region by helicopter the day after disaster struck.."

Photo:© Giulio Di Sturco VII Mentor

In honor of the one year anniversary of the earthquake and it’s results in Northeastern Japan, we’ll be posting a series of photographs from MSF’s work during the crisis.

"The area devastated by the natural disasters has a predominantly elderly population, and many of the survivors had lost their prescriptions and medication. MSF medical teams were able to help them resume their treatment regimes."Photo:© Giulio Di Sturco VII Mentor

In honor of the one year anniversary of the earthquake and it’s results in Northeastern Japan, we’ll be posting a series of photographs from MSF’s work during the crisis.

"The area devastated by the natural disasters has a predominantly elderly population, and many of the survivors had lost their prescriptions and medication. MSF medical teams were able to help them resume their treatment regimes."

Photo:© Giulio Di Sturco VII Mentor

In honor of the one year anniversary of the earthquake and it’s results in Northeastern Japan, we’ll be posting a series of photographs from MSF’s work during the crisis in 2011.

"Since the disaster, a medical and logistic MSF team of 12 people has been working in evacuation centers in Minami Sanriku, and in Taro, Iwate prefecture. Seriously injured people were swiftly evacuated by national authorities, but many of the people in the evacuation centers were elderly and suffering from chronic diseases."Photo:© Giulio Di Sturco VII Mentor

In honor of the one year anniversary of the earthquake and it’s results in Northeastern Japan, we’ll be posting a series of photographs from MSF’s work during the crisis in 2011.

"Since the disaster, a medical and logistic MSF team of 12 people has been working in evacuation centers in Minami Sanriku, and in Taro, Iwate prefecture. Seriously injured people were swiftly evacuated by national authorities, but many of the people in the evacuation centers were elderly and suffering from chronic diseases."

Photo:© Giulio Di Sturco VII Mentor

In honor of the one year anniversary of the earthquake and it’s results in Northeastern Japan, we’ll be posting a series of photographs from MSF’s work during the crisis in 2011.

"MSF doctors treat an elderly patient in Minami Sanriku, in Miyagi prefecture, northeast Japan."Photo:© Giulio Di Sturco VII Mentor

In honor of the one year anniversary of the earthquake and it’s results in Northeastern Japan, we’ll be posting a series of photographs from MSF’s work during the crisis in 2011.

"MSF doctors treat an elderly patient in Minami Sanriku, in Miyagi prefecture, northeast Japan."

Photo:© Giulio Di Sturco VII Mentor