Two months post earthquake update - MSF intervention in Haiti

The distribution of 230 tents and MSF kits to a camp just outside Leogane. Photo:Benoit Finck
Haiti - Two months after the January 12 earthquake, medical needs remain immense in Haiti and living conditions are extremely precarious. Although the phase of urgent life-saving medical care has passed there continues a critical emergency context, in which thousands of people need post-operative care, rehabilitative care and physiotherapy, as well as psychological counseling.
 The extremely difficult living conditions put stress on people who live in camps or who live in tents throughout the city and its surrounding areas. The rainy season has begun, adding to the horrific living conditions of many who still don’t have proper access to sanitation facilities, and augmenting their chances of contracting malaria. There is also insecurity in camps due to poor lighting facilities or poor security management, indicated partly by an increase in sexual violence cases. 

Because it is crucial that patients be cared for until the end of their medical treatment, MSF has expanded its capacity to include specialised postoperative care—including plastic and micro-surgery, treatment for burn victims, physical therapy, rehabilitation, and psychological counseling.   MSF is also focusing on primary health care, with out-patient departments in various locations in the city, and with secondary-level health care services, including for emergency obstetrics, intensive therapeutic care for malnourished children, and inpatient care for paediatrics and adults.

MSF also continues with its activities in water distribution, building of sanitation facilities such as latrines, and the distribution of tents, hygiene and cooking kits, and closely monitors the situation in the camps to inform or advocate to authorities about the unmet needs of the population.
Nearly two months after the terrible earthquake that devastated Haiti (January 12,2010), the figures are still difficult to conceive. Photo:Benoit Finck

Currently MSF has 348 international staff in Haiti working closely with over 3000 Haitian staff. With the expansion of services, the 26 MSF hospitals and health centres can accommodate 1346 patients. In the last two months, MSF teams have performed over 3700 surgeries, provided psychological counselling to over 22,000 people, and treated  54,789 patients. MSF teams have distributed over 18,000 non-food item kits (this includes:  kitchen kits + hygiene kits + Jerry cans + blankets + plastic sheeting), and 10,500 tents.

Figures to date (as of 10 March, 2010)
International staff 348
National staff 3,060 
Operating theatres 16
Number of beds 1,340
Patients treated 54,789
Surgical interventions 3,781
NFI Kits distributed per household 17,900
Tents distributed 10,456
Number of sites  26 + 4 sites mobile clinics
Mental health  22,792

Find out more about MSF in Haiti