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Emergency Operations Center Situation Report #6

Haiti Earthquake


Emergency Operations Center Situation Report #6

Haiti Earthquake


  • Scarcities of the bare necessities, such as food, water, and fuel remain a challenge.
  • 9,000 UN troops in the country, and 10,000 US soldiers are expected to be deployed.
  • A global effort is underway to respond to this devastating natural disaster. From the Region of the Americas, at least 13 countries are providing health relief.
  • The Ministry of Health (MOH) has created a National Health Commission to coordinate the local and international response. The MOH has defined 3 levels of healthcare: mobile health centers, fixed health centers (minor health problems), and finally hospitals with surgical capacities.  The health cluster is working to support these government priorities.
  • Based on the epidemiological reports, the number of reported communicable diseases in Haiti and along the border with Dominican Republic remains stable.


  • The PAHO/WHO Emergency Task Force deployed 20 international staff to Haiti. This number adds to the 52 employees who were already based in the Haiti Country Office and 20 staff in the Country Office in the Dominican Republic.
  • The staff is working on public health interventions, mass casualty management, the management of dead bodies handling, coordination, logistics and communications..
  • Five epidemiologists will be arriving on Tuesday, 19 January in Haiti and along the border between DOR and Haiti.
  • PAHO/WHO is coordinating its efforts on the ground from operational bases in Port-au-Prince, and from Jimani, Santo Domingo and the northern border area in the Dominican Republic.


  • The health cluster, led by PAHO/WHO, is working to support the Ministry of Public Health with its emergency response and coordination.
  • One of the health cluster’s tasks is to coordinate the arrival/deployment of field hospitals.  Multiple field hospitals are operating and others are being sent to Haiti. Israel has set up a mobile field hospital with 60 bed capacity. The field hospital is serving as a referral center for severely injured patients. A Russian hospital is now operational. New field hospitals are due to arrive from Turkey, France, Medecins Sans Frontieres, Indonesia and the USA. The US Navy hospital ship USNS Comfort, with a 1,000-bed capacity, is also on its way.
  • Inter-agency teams from the health cluster are assessing the capacity of existing hospitals to identify priorities and needs. Prior to the earthquake, there were 371 health posts, 217 health centers and 49 hospitals nationwide in Haiti, including 11 hospitals in Port-au-Prince. The earthquake destroyed at least eight hospitals and healthcare facilities in and around Port-au-Prince.
  • LSS/SUMA, the Logistics Supply Management System, has been established in Jimani to coordinate the arrival of humanitarian supplies. A satellite hub will be set up at the airport in Port-au-Prince to capture information on donations arriving there. The health cluster plans to use this information to determine supply gaps and distribution priorities.


  • Assessment of gaps in health service provision coordinated through the health cluster.
  • Emergency and trauma care: initial treatment of wounds and injuries remain a major priority.
  • Obstetric care: Haiti has 70,000 babies born each year, obstetric care and follow-up are also essential services during this critical time.
  • Communicable diseases: the population is at risk of many communicable diseases such as tetanus, which has a case-fatality rate of 70–100% without medical treatment, is a potential risk with open wounds and contamination.
Last Updated on Thursday, 21 January 2010 14:55

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