from Dr Mirta Roses, director of the Pan American Health Organization,
on the occasion of the first year of the Haiti 2010 earthquake
This week marks one year since Haiti's earthquake on 12 January 2010.
I would like to take a moment to once again express my solidarity with
the people of Haiti. The tragic losses of the Haitian people as a result
of the earthquake have deeply moved all nations of the world. I convey
our sincere condolences to all those affected by this tragic event.
is a special opportunity to pay tribute to the health leadership and
workers of Haiti. Health workers including the authorities at all levels
were personally affected by the disaster, including some 300 who died
during the quake. Other health workers lost family members and friends,
and saw their homes and workplaces destroyed or damaged.
spite of these challenges, Haiti's doctors, nurses, laboratory
technicians and other health workers, including staff of the Pan
American Health Organization, were in the forefront of rescue efforts.
In the aftermath of the earthquake they carried on, often working for
days on end without sleep, and for weeks on end without a break.
does not surprise me. Health workers--paid and volunteers alike
--perform miracles every day and often do so with very limited resources
under trying conditions. In Haiti, health workers were already heroes,
even before the earthquake.
the past year, as Haiti has struggled to recover and rebuild, health
workers have used their experience and resourcefulness to help lead the
reconstruction while ensuring that Haitians continue to have access to
care even where health facilities have not yet been rebuilt. They have
led the fight against cholera as well as efforts to reduce maternal and
infant mortality, prevent HIV, and address other ordinary daily health
needs. Haiti's untiring health workers are an inspiration and the force that sustains the health services.
They are the source of hope for the future strengthening of a public
health system in Haiti that will make the Health for All a reality for
the Haitian people.
all Haitian health authorities, health personnel and community
volunteers, to all humanitarian workers national and international that
have worked and continue working in Haiti, we want to recognize you and
to say "thanks" for your caring services and your commitment to the people.
all those in Governments' agencies, public and private donors,
individuals and organizations who have contributed funds and time
inspired by their generosity and solidarity with Haiti, we say "thanks" for your trust and confidence.
Dr. Mirta Roses
January 12, 2011