Thursday, February 18, 2010

Report from UNPAO

Special Report: Update on the Health Response to the Earthquake in
Haiti 16 February 2010
Source: Pan American Health Organization (PAHO); World Health
Organization (WHO)

Date: 16 Feb 2010

According to official statistics from Haiti's Civil Protection, the 12
January earthquake killed more than 200,000 people, caused
approximately 300,000 injuries and displaced more than one million
Haitians. At one point, more than 600 organizations were providing
humanitarian aid to Haiti, and currently, 274 organizations are
conducting health activities in at least 15 communities. Immediately
following the quake, the most pressing need was to rescue people buried
in the rubble and provide immediate emergency care for trauma patients.
Needs have now changed and focus is on post-operative care and
follow-up of patients who have already had surgery as well as basic
primary health care services, such as maternal child health,
rehabilitation services, and chronic diseases including diabetes, heart
disease, HIV, and tuberculosis, among others. The Health Cluster
liaises with other clusters, as many specialties have implications on
the health of the population. Some of the major issues are as follows:

- The World Food Programme (WFP) reports that 16 food distribution
sites have been activated across metropolitan Port reached 2 million
people in and around Port-au-Prince since the earthquake struck. In a
surge operation that began on 31 January, 1.4 million people received
two weeks work of rice. The target population is two million.

- According to the CCCM Cluster, there are now ten organized
settlements that are being managed by cluster partners with a total of
42,569 people. A list of all spontaneous temporary settlements contains
315 sites occupied by 468,075 people (91,112 families). Sanitation is
becoming a major concern at many of the temporary sites

- The WASH Cluster continues to provide safe drinking water (5 litres
per person per day) to over 780,000 people through 300 sites across
Port au Prince, Leogane, and Jacmel. In Jacmel, over 260 temporary
settlement sites are receiving water through the distribution efforts
of cluster partners. The highest priority for the cluster remains
sanitation and the strengthening of monitoring systems for sanitation

- IOM is working with some 40 partners to provide mental health and
psychosocial support to tens of thousands of earthquake survivors
living in spontaneous settlements in Haiti; = provide comprehensive
psychosocial first aid to some 150,000 individuals and follow-up
counselling for up to 10,000 distressed individuals over the coming
months. Six psychosocial mobile teams consisting of Haitian
psychologists, social workers, educators, art therapists and cultural
animators will deploy in settlements where needs have been identified

- Some 87 community outpatient care centers/mobile units for the
treatment of severely acute malnutrition are open or have re-opened
throughout Haiti. Nutrition Cluster partners have indicated plans to
open 52 additional sites within the next 2-3 weeks. Within the 2 most
affected Departments, OUEST and SUD'EST, there are an estimated 577,246
infants, children and pregnant and lactating women have been affected.
Women in the informal settlements are also being trained as
breastfeeding counselors.

- UNICEF says some 23 large-sized tents have been installed in
Port-au-Prince to give children a place to seek refuge and play.
Families are wary of sending children to school because they fear that
another earthquake could strike. UNICEF is working with the Government
to distribute messages to Haitians encouraging them to send their
children back to school. Schools in unaffected regions opened on 1
February, while the Government of Haiti says the remaining will open by
1 March. Forty-percent of the population of Haiti is under 14 years of
age and child protection is also an area of grave concern.

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