HAITI: Doctors Without Borders (MSF) responds to cholera and other medical needs

Friday, October 21, 2016 — HAITI: Doctors Without Borders (MSF) responds to cholera and other medical needs

In the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew, which struck Haiti on 4 October, four teams from Doctors Without Borders (MSF) continue to assess the needs at medical facilities and affected communities in five departments of the country: Grande Anse, Sud, Nippes, Artibonite and Nord-Ouest.

In the hardest hit areas of Haiti, Grande Anse and Sud, many isolated villages remain cut off from the rest of the country. Access to medical care is a priority in affected regions, and isolated villages must be prioritized.

Haitian officials report a death toll in the hundreds that continues to rise.

According to an evaluation done by national authorities, 175,000 people have been displaced, over two million people are affected, and 1.4 million people are in need of aid. 546 people are reported dead, but the real number is very likely higher. Medical structures, already under-funded and under-resourced, were not spared.

Isolated villages in the mountains have been prioritised. As they are difficult to reach they have the least access to health care, clean water, food or reconstruction material. In these areas MSF arranged a mobile clinic using a helicopter to reach the wounded.

Many water sources such as water reservoirs, sources or wells have been damaged or destroyed. MSF focuses on providing clean water to communities, by installing water reservoir, distributing chlorine tabs and water, and cleaning water sources. Clean water is essential to avoid diseases such as diarrhoea, gastro-intestinal infections as well as cholera.

Cholera, always peaking during the rainy season (Oct – Dec/Jan) rose in affected areas, and if clean water and shelter are not provided soon, cases are likely to rise. Surveillance data and notification are still an issue in affected regions. Expansion of the outbreak towards other regions is a concern and vaccination to these areas at risk should be prioritized as the peak of infection may well be passed in the most affected area once the vaccination starts.  Moreover, with destroyed homes and torrential rains, concern grows over other epidemics such as Dengue, malaria, pneumonia.

MSF has been present in Haiti for over 19 years providing free healthcare for the thousands of people who cannot afford the limited healthcare is available. We currently runs 6 projects in Port-au-Prince metropolitan area, including Drouillard hospital for severe burns, the Tabarre traumatology hospital, the Martissant emergency centre, the Centre de Référence des Urgences en Obstétrique (CRUO), and the Pran Men’m clinic for sexual and gender-based violence survivors. MSF also supports the Diquini centre for cholera patients.

HAITI: Doctors Without Borders (MSF) responds to cholera and other medical needs

In the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew, which struck Haiti on 4 October, four teams from Doctors Without Borders (MSF) continue to assess the needs at medical facilities and affected communities in five departments of the country: Grande Anse, Sud, Nippes, Artibonite and Nord-Ouest.

In the hardest hit areas of Haiti, Grande Anse and Sud, many isolated villages remain cut off from the rest of the country. Access to medical care is a priority in affected regions, and isolated villages must be prioritized.

Haitian officials report a death toll in the hundreds that continues to rise.

According to an evaluation done by national authorities, 175,000 people have been displaced, over two million people are affected, and 1.4 million people are in need of aid. 546 people are reported dead, but the real number is very likely higher. Medical structures, already under-funded and under-resourced, were not spared.

Isolated villages in the mountains have been prioritised. As they are difficult to reach they have the least access to health care, clean water, food or reconstruction material. In these areas MSF arranged a mobile clinic using a helicopter to reach the wounded.

Many water sources such as water reservoirs, sources or wells have been damaged or destroyed. MSF focuses on providing clean water to communities, by installing water reservoir, distributing chlorine tabs and water, and cleaning water sources. Clean water is essential to avoid diseases such as diarrhoea, gastro-intestinal infections as well as cholera.

Cholera, always peaking during the rainy season (Oct – Dec/Jan) rose in affected areas, and if clean water and shelter are not provided soon, cases are likely to rise. Surveillance data and notification are still an issue in affected regions. Expansion of the outbreak towards other regions is a concern and vaccination to these areas at risk should be prioritized as the peak of infection may well be passed in the most affected area once the vaccination starts.  Moreover, with destroyed homes and torrential rains, concern grows over other epidemics such as Dengue, malaria, pneumonia.

MSF has been present in Haiti for over 19 years providing free healthcare for the thousands of people who cannot afford the limited healthcare is available. We currently runs 6 projects in Port-au-Prince metropolitan area, including Drouillard hospital for severe burns, the Tabarre traumatology hospital, the Martissant emergency centre, the Centre de Référence des Urgences en Obstétrique (CRUO), and the Pran Men’m clinic for sexual and gender-based violence survivors. MSF also supports the Diquini centre for cholera patients.

 

A man who is too ill to walk rests in a makeshift shelter on the site of his destroyed home, in Roche-a-Bateau suffered widespread destruction with many homes destroyed, in southwestern Haiti. Hurricane Matthew through the Caribbean on October 4 and devastated large parts of the island. Photographer: Andrew McConnell/Panos Pictures
Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) Dr Clarisse Mpinganzima from Norway treats Annette, whose roof fell on her and her grandson during the hurricane at a clinic in Jérémie, Haiti. Photographer: Laura Bianchi/MSF
Aerial view of Les Anglais and the devastation caused by Hurricane Matthew. The eye of the hurricane made landfall near Les Anglais, Sud Department of Haiti, on 4 October 2016. Photographer: MSF
A collapsed bridge at Roche-a-Bateau means people must cross through the river on foot, in southwestern Haiti. Hurricane Matthew tore through the Caribbean on October 4 and devastated large parts of the island. Photographer: Andrew McConnell/Panos Pictures
Roche-a-Bateau suffered widespread destruction with many homes destroyed, in southwestern Haiti. Hurricane Matthew tore through the Caribbean on October 4 and devastated large parts of the island. Photographer: Andrew McConnell/Panos Pictures