Photo PAHO/WHO Victor Ariscain
On 26 January 2010, the Government of Brazil approved a US$ 78 million project initially proposed by the Ministry of Health to support the restructuring of the health system in Haiti, with a proposed initial deployment of 10 emergency care units, 50 mobile services units, one laboratory, and a hospital, in addition to the restructuring of the country’s system of epidemiological and environmental health surveillance. On 29 January 2010, Dr. Carlos Felipe D’Oliveira, adviser to the Brazilian Ministry of Health, is set to travel to Haiti, where he will work closely with Haitian Ministry of Health officials in restructuring health services.
In addition to this project, on an ongoing basis, Brazil has been sending donations of medicines, food, and medical supplies and provided a mobile hospital. On-ground Brazilian support is being coordinated by BRASBATT (Brazilian Battalion in Haiti).
In the immediate hours following the earthquake, PAHO/WHO-Brazil established a Haiti task force to work with local Brazilian institutions, PAHO’s Emergency Operations Center in Washington, D.C., and the U.N. Emergency Team (UNETE) to ensure the most efficient and effective response to this emergency. To support the work of Health Cluster in Haiti, PAHO/WHO-Brazil sent Dr. José Moya, an expert on epidemiology and health surveillance systems evaluation, and Dr. Christopher Rerat, a medicines and medical supplies specialist, to the country on 23 January 2010. PAHO/WHO-Brazil hopes to expand the dialogue and continue strengthening cooperation between the Health Cluster in Haiti and the Brazilian Medical Mission in the days, weeks, and months ahead.