The Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) teams in Port-au-Prince and beyond are still mainly occupied with treating and operating on those who were injured in the quake nine days ago. That has meant a continuing focus on the operating theatres in the larger MSF hospital structures in the capital. But there are new challenges being taken on with the start of mobile clinics in the capital, of water provision and of efforts to plan for post-operative care.

As the Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) hospitals and tent wards continue to treat injured people and carry out operations in Port-au-Prince, the mobile teams that have recently started roving through the capital and points west are finding significant numbers of people needing medical care. Because all of the working hospitals in the city have been overwhelmed for the past ten days with serious injuries, the more routine illnesses and longer term care of wounds have been hard to manage.

The emergency medical work Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) teams are delivering in Haiti is beginning to shift some of its emphasis towards the next levels of need amongst the people there. In some parts of Port-au-Prince, the teams are starting to see more people coming to their hospitals who have infections or complications following basic or untrained attempts at treatment in the early days of the aftermath. Overall pressure on medical services is not declining however.

Despite personal losses, MSF’s Haitian staff continue to provide emergency assistance to their people.

The dual pressures in Haiti, of continuing needs for surgery and of the growing requirement for post-operative care, are all-consuming work for many of Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) teams in the country. In the capital, Choscal hospital in the slum area of Cité Soleil is still operating around-the-clock on an average of 20 to 25 people each day.

Two weeks ago today a devastating earthquake hit Haiti. Since then, Haitians – our colleagues and their families among them – have been coping with the aftermath of one of the most overwhelming natural disasters in recent years. The response of our staff in Haiti to the emergency has been outstanding. Our teams provided medical care just minutes after the earthquake. They are now winding down from the acute emergency phase, working non-stop, day and night.

Médecins Sans Frontières' (MSF) core medical activities in Haiti are still centred on treating people who were injured in the quake, with surgery continuing and post-operative care expanding. But as Rosa Crestani, one of MSF's Emergency Medical Coordinators explains, a second phase underway.

Brigg Reilley is an epidemiologist with Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF) in Haiti. He’s gathering information on what medical needs and issues MSF teams are seeing. The data helps to create a bigger picture of what people’s healthcare needs are after the earthquake, and how those needs may evolve. This knowledge allows MSF staff to continue to effectively treat survivors now as well as plan for the critical medical work ahead. Reilley shares some of MSF’s ongoing priorities as well as what those priorities will be in the weeks and months to come.

Before the quake

  • Trinité Trauma Centre – the only emergency surgery facility in Port-au-Prince
  • Pacot Rehabilitation centre – specialized post-operative care
  • Martissant Emergency Room – stabilization of patients and referral
  • Maternité Solidarité – obstetric hospital for emergency cases
  • 800 Haitian and 30 International staff in Haiti

Day 1: Jan. 12