Haiti Earthquake Relief

January 13, 2010

Michael Lear

Real Medicine Foundation is presently assembling a logistic and medical team to deploy as early as Sunday evening to aid in the efforts on the ground in Haiti.

The recent report from the Pan American Health Organization/WHO highlights the main challenges facing the massive humanitarian effort underway.

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Emergency Operations Center Situation Report #1
 – Haiti Earthquake

One day after a devastating earthquake struck Haiti, information is still difficult to obtain. The PAHO/WHO office in Haiti has been unable to communicate with national health authorities and UN colleagues. For the time being, information is being coordinated through the PAHO/WHO Emergency Operations Center in Washington. On the ground, the past 24 hours have been dedicated to search and rescue and immediate lifesaving activities.


A 7.0 magnitude earthquake struck Haiti on Tuesday afternoon, January 12, 2010, close to the nation's capital of Port-au-Prince. The quake was felt in the Dominican Republic and as far away as Jamaica.Reports indicate a significant loss of life; there are no official numbers at this time but the Haitian President has estimated 100,000 people dead or missing.

Impact on health facilities:

  • Several hospitals and health centers have collapsed in the city
    • The UN clinic at the Christopher Hotel collapsed
    • Martissant emergency room/centre (slum in Port au Prince, MSF managed) is damaged and unstable.
    • All patients evacuated and relocated to tents in the ground. 
    • MSF staff have been dealing with a flow of casualties from the town.
    • Solidarite maternity hospital, MSF-managed, severely damaged
    • Trinite trauma centre (60 beds) MSF-managed, severely damaged
    • HUEH ( University Hospital) damaged
    • New hospital on Delmas damagedEliazard Germain hospital (Petionville) damaged
    • Petits frères et soeurs (Port au Prince) damaged
  • Two hospitals were also damaged in the Dominican Republic, in Barahona and Santiago.
  • The Argentine military hospital that had been serving MINUSTAH personnel is being augmented by two surgical teams and supplies provided by the Government of Argentina (White Helmets).
  • The airport is currently not in service. A temporary health facility has been established there to provide care.
  • Roads in Port-au-Prince are extremely difficult to navigate due to rubble and large amounts of people. Roads from the border with the Dominican Republic to the Port-au-Prince appear to be open.
  • MINUSTAH (UN Security building) has collapsed causing a loss of life.


  • The Emergency Operations Center in Washington DC is now coordinating logistics and communication.
  • Experts from the PAHO/WHO Regional Disaster Response team will arrive in the Dominican Republic this evening. They will travel to Haiti on Thursday.
  • The UN Health Cluster as soon as possible.
  • Supplies have been released from PROMESS, the pharmaceutical warehouse of Haiti's Ministry of Health.
  • Trauma kits to care for 500 victims for 10 days are on their way.
  • PAHO/WHO has advanced USD 200,000 from its disaster response fund to initiate immediate critical activities.
  • The PAHO/WHO office in Haiti has sustained damage and staff will be working out of temporary facilities until a structural assessment of the building is completed.


  • Many PAHO/WHO member countries in Latin America and the Caribbean have offered and are mobilizing humanitarian aid to Haiti.
  • USAID/OFDA office has deployed a disaster assistance response team (DART) comprised of 11 people as well as Urban Search and Rescue Teams.
  • A UN Medical Emergency Response team will be sent to Haiti, including stress counselors

All teams sent to the area must be self-sufficient in terms of food and water as well as financial means (cash) as the banking system is down.

Country Page: Haiti Initiative Page: Haiti Earthquake Relief Project