Hurricane Matthew Hits Haiti

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(Update as of Oct. 8)—Hurricane Matthew, one of the most severe to hit the Caribbean in a decade, pummeled the country’s southwest region Tuesday. More than 800 people have died.

About 350,000 people need emergency help and more than 15,000 have been displaced, reports the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

The 12 health centres Partners In Health supports in Haiti’s central region have continued operating as usual. We are currently working to get more supplies to these facilities, as well as to our 10 cholera treatment centres in anticipation of a likely spike in cholera cases.

“Usually after such a storm, the number of cases will increase,” said Dr. Jacklin Saint-Fleur, director of St. Marc’s Hospital. “I am now on my way to the cholera treatment centrenum to check on the levels of supplies, to see what we have in terms of IVs, beds, and staff.”

PIH staff are also traveling to the southwest region to determine how we can best help our medical colleagues there, though flooded roads and destroyed bridges will make this difficult.

“Though the storm has passed, experience tells us that the worst is yet to come,” said Dr. Charles-Patrick Almazor, PIH’s chief medical officer in Haiti. “What would be the immediate need is to make sure that people get safe drinking water and safe water for washing.”

Every person, no matter who they are or where they’re from, deserves the best health care we know how to offer.

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