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Port-au-Prince, March 11, 2010 – Two staff members of Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), abducted on March 5 in Port-au-Prince, Haiti were safely released today. "We are immensely relieved. Our colleagues are out, are safe and are in good health," said Jean-Sébastien Matte, Head of Mission for MSF in Haiti. "We share in the joy of their relatives and friends, who have been eagerly awaiting such good news over the past five days.

Two months after the January 12 earthquake, medical needs remain immense in Haiti and living conditions are extremely precarious.

Haiti: Two month post-earthquake update of MSF interventions

As needs remain, Haiti must be given capacity to ensure access to medical care for its population.

The independent medical humanitarian organization Médecins Sans Frontières/ Doctors Without Borders has been providing health care in Haiti for 19 years. After the earthquake hit, its regular cadre of 800 field staff in Port-au-Prince quickly expanded to 3,400 people working in 26 hospitals and clinics. Two representatives from the organization explain why restoring Haiti’s health care system to what it was before the quake would be a travesty — because Haitians deserve so much better. Paul McPhun and Kevin Coppock offer some ideas for how to get it right this time.

The 7.0 magnitude earthquake that struck Haiti on January 12 this year has brought even greater uncertainty to a population that was already extremely vulnerable. Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has been working in Haiti since 1991 and was able to react immediately, working out of temporary facilities after its own structures were damaged, performing emergency triage and surgical interventions wherever possible, and bringing in hundreds of tons of supplies on an almost daily basis, including an inflatable hospital, as part of one of the largest responses in the organization’s history. All of this was done with the active and tireless participation of Haitian staff members who had suffered great losses in the earthquake themselves.

In the "Month in Focus - April 2010" edition: Haiti – Three Months Later ; South Africa – Violence without borders ; Mayotte – Reaching isolated migrants ; Morocco - Sexual violence and migration ; HIV/AIDS - Non-negotiable lives and access to generic medicines.

Four months after Haiti's devastating earthquake, MSF's teams continue to adjust their activities to meet the changing, but still major, medical needs. The organization continues to provide primary and secondary care to the population at no cost, working out of approximately 20 sites and operating several mobile clinics. "More than one million people are still living in deplorable conditions, beneath tents or plastic sheeting, without a clear sense of what's ahead in the coming months," says Stefano Zannini, MSF's head of mission in Haiti.

Living conditions remain dire for thousands of Haitians

On Monday afternoon a storm hit a camp in Coraille, north of Port au Prince, where more than 7,000 people are living, destroying almost one third of the tents. More than 2,300 people lost their only form of shelter and were under the rain with their belongings for the night when 345 tents were destroyed. On Tuesday a UN agency, the International Organization for Migration, provided 100 tents to people. After being informed by the UN about the situation, MSF gave out 245 tents.

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