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Haiti Flood Waters Recede, Yet Needs Remain High
October 24, 2004
More than a month after floods killed thousands and left nearly 200,000 people homeless in Haiti's city of Gonaives, Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) medical teams are now performing over 900 consultations each day.
MSF is operating a health center in Raboteau, a slum in the western part of the city, with 28 staff, including six international volunteers. A mental health team is also offering psychosocial therapy to people receiving care in the Raboteau center, to local government staff in charge of recovering the dead, and to rural populations outside the city.
No epidemics have emerged despite the devastation to the sanitation and public health systems. MSF is monitoring people's nutritional needs.
Many Gonaiveans have left the city in search of shelter with relatives and friends in rural areas, according to Silvien Auerbach, MSF head of mission in Haiti. It remains unclear, he added, when they will be able to return to their homes and whether the city can meet their needs.
"At the moment, the city's residents are completely dependant on humanitarian aid," said Auerbach.
In Port-de-Paix, MSF is conducting a mobile clinic and supporting the public hospital, including the supply of clean drinking water.