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Latina Lista: News from the Latinx perspective > Columns & Features > Global Views > One group of First Responders to Haiti earthquake victims still fighting to save lives one year later

One group of First Responders to Haiti earthquake victims still fighting to save lives one year later

LatinaLista — It will be one year on January 12, 2011 that a 7.5 magnitude earthquake hit Haiti and over 230,000 people lost their lives. At the time, because of the poor infrastructure that exists in the country, everyone outside of Haiti depended on social media — blogs, Twitter, Facebook — to get updates on the people, the rescues and the conditions of the hardest hit areas.

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One of the first medical groups to enter Haiti was the International Medical Corps (IMC). It soon became clear that personnel from IMC could provide some of the best eye-witness accounts of what was really happening there.

For that reason, Latina Lista partnered with IMC to provide readers the accounts from blog posts of IMC doctors, nurses and administrators. The stories, found at Haiti Reports, were sad but inspiring at the same time.

Well, with new outbreaks of cholera continuing to develop across the country, progress painfully slow in rebuilding hospitals and the one-year anniversary of the catastrophe just around the corner, IMC still finds itself administering to Haitian patients.

Yet, for IMC, there has been some progress thanks to the donations they received from donors and volunteer medical personnel. To show how they have spent their donations, IMC recently released a report titled “Haiti: One Year Later.”

The following update from IMC reminds us that there is still great need in Haiti and, thankfully, there are organizations that have not given up — though the rest of us need to be reminded that life is not yet back to normal in Haiti.

Summary of International Medical Corps operations in Haiti:

Nearly one year after the earthquake in Haiti, International Medical Corps continues to expand its initial health response to include new medical services needed to battle the cholera outbreak – while also building capacity within the local health care system through training programs that increase the knowledge and skills of Haitian medical professionals.

International Medical Corps is currently operating seven Cholera Treatment Centers throughout Haiti, where more than 3,575 patients have received lifesaving treatment, as well as large-scale community education activities that have reached more than 11,600 Haitians through a network of community health workers as well as other social mobilizers such as the Boy Scouts, religious groups and community leaders.

Cholera response activities are coupled with a network of 13 primary health clinics throughout southern Haiti. In the past year, International Medical Corps has provided more than 156,000 patient consultations through primary health care clinics that target both displacement camps and remote communities with little access to health services.

As a leader in mental health, International Medical Corps also has integrated mental health services into its primary health clinics and has trained more than 630 doctors and nurses how to identify, treat, and refer mental health disorders.

We have also trained 150 caretakers working in 69 children’s residential centers to improve children’s well-being, safety, and development. As part of our ongoing efforts to provide clean water and sanitation we have built 275 latrines, 82 showers, distributed water purification tablets to more than 4,000 households, delivered almost 22,000 bars of soap to 3,600 families, provided hygiene kits to nearly 4,000 families, and educated more than 35,000 people on good hygiene practices.

International Medical Corps also laid the foundation for an ambitious Continuing Medical Education (CME) program – the first CME program focused on emergency obstetrics in conjunction with the Haitian Medical Societies. Future CME seminars are being planned for early 2011 and will include topics considered most needed by Haiti’s Ministry of Health and medical professional groups, including building capacity for disaster preparedness and risk reduction.

For those who want more information or to donate, they can go to: www.InternationalMedicalCorps.org
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