- Almost two weeks after the earthquake, Haiti’s Ministry of Health is revising its emergency response strategy and will gradually shift focus from emergency surgical cases to primary health care.
- Thousands of amputees will require physical therapy as well as mental health services and psychosocial support. Proper rehabilitation is critical to preventing long-term disabilities and minimizing the impact on families as a result of loss of productivity.
- The Ministry of Health of the Dominican Republic estimates that as of 22 January, 495 Haitian patients are in nine hospitals in the Dominican Republic. The majority (247) are in the Buen Samaritano Hospital in Jimaní. However, the influx of patients requiring emergency care in these hospitals is declining.
- Sixty-three patients from Hospital Melenciano and 25 from Buen Samaritano Hospital, along the Dominican Republic border with Haiti, have been transferred to Fond Parisien (Haiti) where the non-profit organization, Love A Child, is providing space on their grounds for post-operative patients to recover. A similar visit was conducted to the NGO Agua de Vida in Fond Parisien, as it may also serve as a location for post-surgical patients coming from hospitals in Jimaní.
- There was good news regarding the recovery of Haiti’s health system, as Brazil approved a US$70 million project that includes 10 urgent care units, 50 mobile units for emergency care, a laboratory and a hospital, among other health services.
- At a joint press conference, PAHO/WHO Director, Dr. Mirta Roses, and the Minister of Health of Haiti, Dr. Alex Larsen, emphasized the importance of reestablishing and strengthening primary health care services and establishing surveillance networks to detect outbreaks.
- PAHO/WHO, along with UNICEF, CDC, American Red Cross and others, are working to ensure that all cases of injury and trauma receive tetanus vaccination/AT serum. Additionally, they will conduct an emergency vaccination campaign against measles, rubella and DPT, and provide vitamin A supplements, for children aged 6 months to 5 years in temporary settlements. They will also work to reestablish routine immunization programs.
- Although there is no precise estimate of the real need for blood transfusions in Haiti, it is clear that the need exists, given the number of patients with multiple injuries or in need of surgery. PAHO/WHO has developed a list of key points for countries and institutions to consider with regard to blood donations.
- Sixteen national and international staff are supporting the LSS/SUMA system. As mentioned in earlier reports, LSS/SUMA captures information on incoming humanitarian aid at its point of arrival, providing Haiti and the Dominican Republic with a snapshot of what is available to fill gaps. The system is currently operating in Jimaní, along the border and at the airport in Port-au-Prince. It will soon be set up at the Buen Samaritano Hospital and in Fond Parisien.
Read today’s Haiti Health Cluster Bulletin #6 at www.paho.org