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Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Haiti: 1 Year After the Earthquake

5th January 2011
To pull through this emergency, keep the promises made to the Haitians.
Since the earthquake on 12th January 2010, Haitians have been surviving essentially thanks to the mobilisation of international assistance. On the ground, conditions for survival remain extremely precarious and the UN & member states are far from meeting their commitments. Reconstruction work is stalling and the Haitian people continue to wait for promises to be fulfilled.
Mobilising the funds promised by the international community

For one year, the majority of donations received from all over the world - almost 3 billion dollars, much of which has come from private donors - have financed the massive humanitarian operation that is continuing today. The Haitian population has endured disasters, frustration and disillusionment for several months. It is therefore not surprising to see, during this extremely sensitive electoral period, an upsurge of sometimes fierce criticism of the United Nations, other states and, occasionally, humanitarian organisations.
While Haitian and international emergency teams have enabled vital needs to be addressed, states themselves are far from meeting their commitments in terms of reconstruction. Of the 10 billion dollars pledged in March 2010 during the international donor conference of the United Nations and Member States in New York, only a few hundred million dollars has been paid out. If the promises made to Haiti on reconstruction are not kept, the country risks another disaster: economically, socially and politically.

Medical action taken by Doctors of the World over the past year
The earthquake completely destroyed an already very fragile and inequitable health system. To deal with this, the Haitian Ministry of Health established an intermediate reconstruction plan. Yet one year later, in spite of efforts, the plan has made too little progress. It is principally the NGOs who are managing the cholera emergency. The Haitian government, paralysed by the lack of funds promised by Member States, is having trouble getting back on its feet and initiating a sustainable reconstruction of the heath system.
For the past year the Doctors of the World teams have been offering multidisciplinary access to healthcare: treatment of cholera cases, medical consultations, reproductive health, vaccinations, nutritional screening, specific follow-up of women and children, assistance to victims of violence and post-traumatic psychological follow-up:
* More than 580 000 medical consultations, including 800 surgical procedures, carried out since the earthquake. On average, about 9 250 medical consultations were carried out each week of which 20% were for children under 5 years and 12% were for pregnant women.
* To address the cholera epidemic: 5 Cholera Treatment Centres with a capacity of 40 to 50 beds each and 11 Cholera Treatment Units dedicated to oral and intravenous re-hydration.
* 4 operational areas: Port au Prince, the Goâvienne region Grande Anse and Nippes
In Port au Prince: 8 permanent tented clinics in the displaced persons camps and slums
: 4 mobile clinics operating on 16 sites of Cité-Soleil
In the Goâvienne region: Supporting the Petit Goâve hospital and 10 health care centres
In Grande Anse: Supporting the provincial hospital in Jérémie and 11 health care centres
* 1 268 staff working for Doctors of the World of whom 95% are Haitians.

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