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MSF in Haiti, 2006/2007
Field Staff: 627
Reason for Intervention:
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Violence and insecurity were pervasive in Port-au-Prince, the Haitian capital, during 2006/2007. Even with a newly elected government in place, there were confrontations involving various armed groups and the Haitian National Police and UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINU STAH), as well as extensive kidnapping and sexual violence.
In July 2006 alone, MSF treated more than 200 gunshot victims at its three medical facilities in Port-au-Prince: St. Joseph’s Trauma Center, St. Catherine Hospital in Cité Soleil, and Jude Anne Hospital.
In December 2006, MSF opened a new project in Martissant, a slum of Port-au-Prince without healthcare and where armed groups fight frequently. Approximately 5,000 patients were treated in the MSF emergency room during the first six months of activities. Patients in need of further care are transferred to other MSF facilities in the city.
MSF also works in Cité Soleil, another deprived area in Port-au-Prince, where an estimated 200,000 people live in poverty and amid violence. MSF has treated 15,900 patients in St. Catherine Hospital, 20 percent of these victims of violence, since the project began in 2005.
In the 55-bed Jude Anne hospital, MSF has provided emergency obstetrical care since March 2006. Activity has increased significantly, reaching a peak of 1,300 deliveries in September 2006, an estimated 20 percent of births in Port-au-Prince. Over 12,000 infants had been born at this hospital by June 2007. In May 2007, MSF also started mobile ante-natal care clinics in three Port-au-Prince slums.
Improving care for victims of violence In November 2006, MSF moved its trauma center from St. Joseph’s Hospital to La Trinité hospital. In this larger health structure, MSF was able improve the quality of care it provides to victims of violence by increasing emergency room capacity and introducing better orthopedic surgical care. Since its opening in December 2004, MSF has treated 6,400 victims of violence, including nearly 3,000 people suffering gunshot wounds, approximately 1,600 who had been stabbed, 700 beaten, 500 raped and 500 victims of domestic violence.
In June 2007, MSF increased its capacity to treat victims of sexual violence in the capital, offering comprehensive psychological and medical treatment. The program had already treated 220 victims of sexual violence between July 2006 and June 2007. MSF also operates a physical rehabilitation center where patients needing specialized post-operative treatment can receive physiotherapy and psychological care.
At the end of June 2007, a MSF project in Petite Rivière de l’Artibonite was handed over to the Ministry of Health, supported by a local organization, Zanmi Lasante. The project was focused on maternal and child health.
MSF has worked in Haiti since 1991.