Meeting Haiti's changing health needs

February 2010

Women in Port-au-Prince rest outside a hospital for the elderly which collapsed in Haiti's earthquake
UN Photo/Marco Dormino

More than one month after the earthquake that devastated swathes of Haiti, in excess of 300 000 people are suffering from injuries and around one million are living in temporary settlements or host families after losing their homes.

Immediately following the 12 January quake, the most pressing need was to rescue people and provide life-saving care for patients suffering from major trauma, hundreds of whom underwent amputations. It was also crucial to ensure free access to medicines and provide emergency basic and secondary care.

But today, there are new health needs. The focus is on post-operative care, rehabilitating people with disabilities and injuries, and providing basic and primary health care services, such as maternal, child and mental healthcare, controlling chronic diseases and restarting vaccination programmes. Controlling diseases and ensuring clean water is available are also critical for the hundreds of thousands of people living in temporary shelters ahead of the coming rainy and hurricane seasons. Strengthening coordination of health partners and making medicines and other supplies available are also up utmost importance to the health sector response and recovery.

To respond to these needs for the next 12 months, the humanitarian community on 18 February launched a revised Flash Appeal. WHO and partners are seeking more than US$100 million to implement projects to meet these needs.

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