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Emergency Operations Center Situation Report # 22
Haiti Earthquake - English | Spanish | French| Portuguese

PAHO/WHO RESPONSE

  • PAHO/WHO, together with the Ministry of Health, and strategic partners (ARC, CDC, UNICEF, UNF) is developing a two-phase post-disaster vaccination response plan. Phase 1 is presently taking place in temporary settlements, where as of 22 February, more than 10% (85,500 persons) of the target population has been vaccinated. These include 4,353 children aged six weeks – eight months with DTP vaccine; 14,509 children aged nine months – seven years with DTP and MR vaccine; and 66,714 people over eight years with dT. Phase 2 will target the rest of the country once the situation stabilizes.
    PAHO/WHO is also coordinating a task force comprised of personnel from PAHO, UNICEF, and CDC to support vaccination activities and strengthen surveillance to rapidly detect and investigate suspected cases.
  • PAHO/WHO is part of an interagency working group focusing on the issue of health care waste management, a particular concern due to the health risks associated with exposure to medical waste. The group will help to develop a medium and long-term plan to replace temporary measures instituted following the earthquake.
  • In consultation with more than 100 humanitarian organizations working in or providing donations to Haiti following the earthquake, PAHO/WHO developed and issued new guidelines on drug donations for Haiti.  Basic principles include:

    • Drugs donated should be those most needed by Haiti, that is, based on expressed needs;
    • Donor countries should offer only medicines acceptable in their countries.  Donated drugs should come from reliable sources and meet the quality standards of both donor and recipient countries;
    • Drugs should be valid for at least one year from their arrival in Haiti;
    • Donations should fully respect the wishes and authority of Haiti’s health officials and should comply with the health polices and administrative procedures existing in that country.

These and other guidelines on how to be a good donor are available at www.saberdonar.info and www.paho.org/disasters

  • PAHO/WHO is presently investigating the quality of some donations of medicined that arrived in Haiti after the earthquake, and will continue to monitor donations to ensure compliance with the guidelines.
  • PAHO/WHO continues to support Haiti’s Ministry of Health to strengthen its epidemiological capacity, and has recruited two local epidemiologists, in addition to the many international PAHO/WHO experts providing technical support.

    • Respiratory infections are the main cause of illness, followed by trauma/injury, diarrhoea and suspected malaria. Data received from selected IDP camps, not part of the sentinel sites, is showing higher than normal cases of hypertension.
    • Treatment for HIV/AIDS and TB remains an important issue, particularly with the increased likelihood of multi-drug resistance, the magnitude of which was unknown before the earthquake.  Prevention of mother-to-child transmission is also critical, considering the number of deliveries (approximately 6,000) in the last thirty days and that generally 5,000 babies are born each year with HIV.
    • Attention must be maintained on rabies, which was an important pubic health problem before the earthquake. Maintenance of domestic dog and cat vaccination programs and post exposure prophylaxis for people bitten by animals is recommended.
    • There have been no confirmed disease outbreaks. The following has been reported:

      • Two isolated cases of typhoid fever and two cases of malaria, all laboratory confirmed;
      • Ten suspected cases of measles; five have been discarded and five are currently pending laboratory results;
      • One unconfirmed case of diphtheria
      • One case of flaccid paralysis, which is being investigated
  • Malaria and dengue cases tend to increase in Haiti during the rainy season. PAHO/WHO has a stock of 15,000 long-lasting impregnated bed nets for hospitals and health care centers to protect patients and families from vector. Although approaches and interventions to prevent, control, and manage the diseases should be anchored by the reality on the ground, key points to note include:
  • PAHO/WHO began distributing fuel to public health facilities on Monday, 22 February.
  • The MSPP, with the assistance of PAHO/WHO, is establishing a clinical coordination center to improve the patient referral process.
  • PAHO and WHO are collaborating with the IAEA to provide basic radiology services to a number of hospitals within and outside Port au Prince. The IAEA purchased most of the technology, while PAHO and WHO provided additional devices (voltage regulators, etc.), materials (training books) and services (installation, training, logistics, etc.). This joint IAEA/PAHO effort, which also seeks to ensure safety of patients and workers, proper and efficient use of the technology, and protection of the technological investment is expected to also provide more complex radiology services.
  • PAHO/WHO and the MSPP are creating an emergency health information management cell (IM) which over the next 12-18 months, is expected to provide real-time situational awareness, health threat assessments, gap analyses, needs assessments, information fusion and other relevant information.  The cell will eventually merge into a more robust health information management system.  PAHO/WHO will merge various databases to help the IM Cell gather and disseminate information.
  • WHO/PAHO has developed guiding principles for managing WHO/PAHO human resources in Haiti and a mid-term communication strategy for the PAHO/WHO country office in Haiti.


OTHER HEALTH RELATED HIGHLIGHTS

  • Health cluster partners are assessing the internally displaced population’s access to primary health care (PHC) services in the metropolitan area of Port au Prince. The objectives of the assessment are to:
    • Determine availability, access to, and capacity of PHC services, including their referral networks, in the “200 largest camps” and surrounding areas in the Port au Prince metropolitan area;
    • Classify camps in categories of high, medium and low-no need for immediate action, in terms of provision of PHC services;
    • Map camps’ contours and PHC services inside and outside the camps; possibly integrate water and sanitation waypoints in the same maps for planning purposes.

  • IOM is implementing a program to provide comprehensive psychosocial first aid and follow-up counseling to over 150,000 earthquake survivors living in spontaneous settlements in Port-au-Prince and surrounding areas.  Immediate support includes group and one-on-one counseling sessions and the provision of recreational activities, such as sport, art therapy and traditional handicraft activities for vulnerable women.
  • The United Nations County Team in the Dominican Republic is analyzing the economic and social implications of the Haitian crisis on the Dominican Republic.  The initial findings are expected by next week.


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

 

Last Updated on Thursday, 25 February 2010 06:43

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