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Emergency Operations Center Situation Report #7
Haiti Earthquake

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GENERAL OVERVIEW

  • More than 36 countries and dozens of humanitarian organizations have already sent in-kind donations as well as monetary contributions to Haiti.
  • Twenty-six countries, including Argentina, Canada, France, Russia and the USA have provided significant military assets for the emergency response. These assets include field hospitals, troops, military aircraft, hospital ships, cargo ships and helicopters. MINUSTAH currently has 3,400 troops and police on the ground. Civil military coordinators are working directly with the US military.
  • Logistical challenges still remain at the airport in Port-au-Prince, where many supplies are offloaded with the expectation that they will be transported to relief agencies. WFP, the US Military and MINUSTAH are coordinating the arrival of incoming humanitarian flights.
  • People who have lost their homes are resettling themselves in parks and open spaces, in many cases with no shade or other means of shelter.
  • MINUSTAH is providing ICT services in the log base and is currently upgrading the Internet connectivity to accommodate additional personnel who is housed on the premises.
  • The road from Santo Domingo to Barahona is open; however, the route from Barahona to Jimaní is in poor condition and very congested. The total travel time is at least 4 hours from Santo Domingo to Jimaní.
  • U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon participated in a wreath-laying ceremony at the General Assembly Building in New York in honor of the victims of the earthquake in Haiti.
  • The WFP has provided 200,000 people with rations for seven days.

HEALTH HIGHLIGHTS

  • The Haitian mission’s permanent representative in Geneva reported to the WHO Executive Board that 70,000 bodies have been buried and 200,000 people are dead. MINUSTAH, the Red Cross and the Haitian authorities have collected most of the bodies.
  • The Government of Haiti has created a National Commission for the Management of the Crisis. The Commission Coordinator participates in the Health Cluster meetings.
  • The national morgue, located at Haiti’s University Hospital (HUEH), is completely full and has no electricity so dead bodies have been left outside of the morgue.
  • The water system in Port-au-Prince is partially functional, although the entire system has not yet been evaluated.
  • Water is being distributed by trucks.

PAHO/WHO RESPONSE

  • PAHO/WHO has over 25 international staff in Haiti, including specialists in epidemiology, logistics, disaster management, communication, coordination and water/sanitation.
  • A PAHO/WHO emergency physician and a structural engineer from UNOPS carried out an assessment of four hospitals: Hôpital de la Paix, Canapé Vert, Hôpital de la Communite Haïtien and Hôpital Universitaire de l’Etat de Haïti, and concluded that all four are in fair condition.
  • PROMESS is procuring additional supplies to cope with the demand and will continue purchasing in the Dominican Republic to ensure rapid distribution. PROMESS states that they have sufficient stock of TB medicines for one year.
  • LSS/SUMA (Humanitarian Supply Management System) is being installed at the airport in Port-au-Prince with the assistance of OCHA, MINUSTAH and DHL. LSS/SUMA is also operating in Jimaní.
  • Flights are en route to Haiti carrying medicines and supplies that can treat 165,000 people for one month, plus drugs and equipment to treat 1,000 people with trauma injuries.
  • Diesel fuel was purchased in Santo Domingo and 1,300 gallons were delivered to the Haiti University Hospital (HUEH) for the generator.

PROVISION OF HEALTH SERVICES

  • Medical services are still being provided outdoors, in makeshift spaces as health facilities are overcrowded or have poor hygiene.
  • At least eight hospitals and healthcare facilities were destroyed or damaged in and around Port-au-Prince, Leogane and Jacmel. Still-operating hospitals have been quickly overwhelmed by large numbers of survivors that require trauma care.
  • 18 permanent health facilities and temporary field hospitals are operating. The USNS medical ship Comfort is en route to Haiti.
  • In addition to the field hospitals mentioned in PAHO/WHO SITREP #6, a Canadian and Norwegian Red Cross rapid deployment hospital is now operational in Port-au-Prince. This 70-bed facility can provide assistance to 200 injured people each day. The German and Finish Red Cross societies have two basic mobile health care units operational in the field to treat 30,000 people each. A third unit will arrive soon.
  • Patients are being treated for injuries or other health problems at various health centers in the Dominican Republic along Haiti’s border, while some injured are being evacuated to neighboring Caribbean countries.
  • HUEH Hospital has established a crisis management team, chaired by the Hospital Director, to improve the organization and division of work in the hospital (the largest in the country and the main referral hospital).

HEALTH CLUSTER COORDINATION

  • Health assessments are expanding their focus to include health needs in towns outside Port-au-Prince where extensive damage may have also occurred. In addition, they are looking at the status of pre-existing hospitals to determine their capacity to provide care as well as prevention efforts to avert new health crises.
  • PAHO/WHO chairs the daily meeting of the Health Cluster, which takes place at the UN logistics base. More than 40 agencies are registered as Cluster partners and over 75 individuals are participating. The UK-based NGO, MERLIN, co-chairs the Cluster meeting and the ministry of health is present.
  • Due to the number of agencies and people attending and the different interests of groups it has been decided to establish two sub-groups.
− The first sub-group will deal with existing field hospitals, fixed health facilities where foreign agencies are working as well as the assessment of hospitals to evaluate their functionality. The US Department of Health and Human Services has provided a focal point for new field hospitals that are arriving and looking for a site to setup the facility. They will closely collaborate with MINUSTAH doctors and the Ministry of Health Coordinator for the earthquake response.
− The second sub-group will deal with public health assessments under the chair of MERLIN, and comprises agencies that are involved in the assessment in the 280 sites where population has
gathered spontaneously. The assessment forms used are based upon global recommendations. This group also includes the agencies that are dealing with TB and HIV treatments and others.

IDENTIFIED NEEDS

  • Logisticians
  • Surgeons
  • Transport (for supplies and patients)
  • Waste management
  • Management of dead bodies
  • Consolidation of assessment information/data gathering
  • Management of field hospital sites, data gathering
  • Oxygen
  • Tetanus vaccines

GENERAL PUBLIC HEALTH INFORMATION

  • Damaged medical and sanitation systems and a lack of safe drinking water can lead to hygiene-related and food borne diseases. Outbreaks of diarrhea and other more serious gastrointestinal illnesses such as typhoid may occur.
  • Population displacement and overcrowding can increase the risk of transmission of communicable diseases.
  • Untreated trauma wounds and infection of wounds are major health concerns that need priority attention.

For further information on the situation in Haiti,
please go to www.paho.org/disasters and http://twitter.com/pahoeoc 

Last Updated on Thursday, 21 January 2010 14:55

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