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WHO spearheads health response to earthquake in Haiti

Date:
January 13, 2010
Source:
World Health Organization
Summary:
The severe earthquake that struck Haiti and the Dominican Republic has inflicted large-scale damage, including on hospitals and health facilities, and large numbers of casualties are feared.

The severe earthquake that struck Haiti and the Dominican Republic has inflicted large-scale damage, including on hospitals and health facilities, and large numbers of casualties are feared.

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Immediate health priorities include:

  • search and rescue of survivors trapped underneath rubble;
  • treatment of people with major trauma injuries;
  • preventing the infection of wounds;
  • provision of clean water and sanitation; and
  • ensuring breast-feeding is continued.

Control of communicable diseases, such as diarrhoeal diseases and respiratory infections, will be another major concern in coming days.

WHO is working with local authorities, United Nations agencies and humanitarian partners to respond to the emergency. More specifically, WHO is supporting the Haitian government to best coordinate international health assistance to the country. WHO is also collecting data on the health impact of the earthquake to disseminate to other humanitarian aid providers.

In addition, WHO is deploying a 12-member team of health and logistics experts. The WHO experts being sent include specialists in mass casualty management, coordination of emergency health response and the management of dead bodies.

UN buildings, including the WHO premises, have suffered damage in the magnitude 7.0 earthquake, which struck on 12 January. The main force of the earthquake was felt 17 kilometres south-west of the Haitian capital, Port-au-Prince.

Haiti is a country that has already suffered from years of humanitarian crisis and natural disasters, including a series of hurricanes that battered the country in 2008.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by World Health Organization. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

World Health Organization. "WHO spearheads health response to earthquake in Haiti." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 13 January 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/01/100113113518.htm>.
World Health Organization. (2010, January 13). WHO spearheads health response to earthquake in Haiti. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 25, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/01/100113113518.htm
World Health Organization. "WHO spearheads health response to earthquake in Haiti." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/01/100113113518.htm (accessed January 25, 2015).

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