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The earthquake that hit Haiti in January 2010 reportedly left 300,000 wounded, and 1.5 million homeless. Soon afterwards, a cholera epidemic swept the country, killing more than 5,000.
Although the situation is no longer covered as extensively as it was in 2010, huge health needs remain in Haiti.
The needs are for surgery, post-operative care, and obstetric care.
Cholera is still a concern. In Port-au-Prince, Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) treatment centers have seen an increase in cases since mid-May.
Since the earthquake, MSF has opened five hospitals and has treated 130,000 people throughout the country for cholera.
A year and a half later, MSF’s health facilities in Haiti are reaching milestones; all are being moved, replaced, reinforced, or closed.
MSF’s Saint-Louis Hospital was a tent trauma center installed on a school sports field in the capital right after the earthquake. On May 9, 2011, it was moved into a new facility in the north on the city.
In the displaced persons camps in Port-au-Prince, MSF staff spread the news that the hospital is moving.
Orthopedic surgery was a main focus of Saint-Louis Hospital and will remain so in the facility that replaces it. Staff also provide physiotherapy and psychological support.
The new 170-bed facility replacing Saint-Louis Hospital is made of wood in the areas where patients are treated, while the technical areas are constructed of converted shipping containers.
The new 114-bed MSF hospital in Tabarre—also focused on surgical and medical care—is planned to open in the eastern suburbs of Port-au-Prince in late 2011.
The MSF Obstetrical Center in Port-au-Prince opened March 8, 2011.
Haiti has the highest maternal mortality rate in the western hemisphere with more than 600 deaths per 100,000 deliveries. Infant mortality is more than 50 deaths for every 1,000 live births.
Bicentenaire Hospital is another MSF emergency hospital in southern Port-au-Prince that opened after the earthquake.
With the opening of the new MSF hospitals, Bicentenaire is scheduled to close for good in 2011.
MSF opened Leogane Hospital a few days after the earthquake struck. Leogane, on the coast, west of the capital, was close to the epicenter of the quake and 80 percent of the area was destroyed.
MSF has about 250 international staff and 3,000 Haitian staff currently working in Haiti. The organization spent around US$150 million in Haiti in 2010 and plans to spend US$70 million in 2011.
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