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Massive Health Crisis in Haiti

In the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew, people in Haiti face a massive health crisis. The destruction caused by Hurricane Matthew has cut off communities and forced them to live in inhuman conditions. Around 1.4 million people are in need of aid, particularly those living in isolated mountain villages, which are the most difficult to reach.

In many instances, MSF teams have been the only aid teams able to access these isolated populations. To reach them, personnel have brought mobile clinics via cars, helicopters and hired donkeys.

In the hardest hit departments of Haiti—Grande Anse and Sud—many villages remain cut off from the rest of the country. MSF medical teams who have reached these areas report that food, water and shelter are the most urgent needs. Crops and food stocks have been wiped out and road access is blocked, while water sources such as reservoirs or wells have been damaged or destroyed.

Infected wounds and fractures, gastritis, and upper respiratory tract infections are the most common conditions linked to the hurricane in these areas. Access to health care is almost nonexistent, but without skilled and continued care, infected wounds can lead to sepsis and death while broken bones will lead to disabilities. MSF has so far carried out 1,614 medical consultations in the Grande Anse, Sud, and Nippes departments. MSF continues to prioritise these villages, as they have the least access to healthcare, clean water, food and reconstruction material.