MSF Responding to Devastating Earthquake in Haiti

January 12, 2010

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MSF Responding to Devastating Earthquake in Haiti

On January 12, a magnitude 7.0 quake struck about 10 miles (15 kilometers) southwest of the Haitian capital, Port-au-Prince. Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) teams on the ground have witnessed significant damage to its medical facilities, injuries to patients and staff, and an influx of wounded towards these hospitals in the capital.

MSF’s Trinite trauma center hospital, a 60-bed structure and one of the only free-of-charge surgical facilities in Port-au-Prince, was seriously damaged by the quake. Although difficult to confirm, hundreds are reported to be wounded while the Haitian capital is massively damaged.

At the moment, MSF teams are trying to ensure the safety and continued care of patients admitted to Trinite hospital and to establish a capacity to respond to new patients. At its Maternité Solidarité hospital, a 75-bed emergency obstetrics facility also in the capital, pregnant women, new mothers, and newborn children have been evacuated from the facility due to structural damage and as a precautionary measure. MSF also operates Martissant 25, a health center in the Martissant slum and its immediate surroundings.

Communication systems such as mobile phone networks are not working and road access is severely hampered.

MSF is deeply concerned for the safety of our patients and staff. Additional staff will be deployed to reinforce the existing MSF staff on the ground and to assess the emerging needs from the earthquake in the coming days.

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