Long-Term Health Problems Facing Haiti After Earthquake

While the desperate people of Haiti await assistance, multi-national relief efforts must overcome a mind-boggling logistical nightmare caused by demolished transportation and communications systems.

Buildings and infrastructure in Port-au-Prince suffered extensive damage and basic services like water and electricity are almost non-existent. One of the poorest countries in the western hemisphere, Haiti already had severely limited resources before the quake caused large-scale damage to existing infrastructure, hospitals, and other health facilities. Caring for the victims of the quake is an overwhelming task, one that will continue into the foreseeable future.

The World Health Organization (WHO) is working with local authorities, United Nations agencies, and humanitarian partners to respond to the 7.0 magnitude earthquake that hit Haiti earlier this week. The United Nations (UN) issued an urgent call to the international community to assist and is coordinating an emergency response team for humanitarian relief efforts.

Health issues of immediate concern include search and rescue of trapped survivors; treatment of injuries such as lacerations, broken and fractured bones, burns, and crush injuries; respiratory problems due to inhalation of dust and building materials; treatment for and prevention of infection; distribution of clean water and food; proper sanitation; care and feeding of infants and young children; and management of a growing number of deceased. As of this writing, The Red Cross estimates is estimating that 45,000 – 50,000 have died in the earthquake.

In the weeks to come, control of communicable diseases will become crucial, and exacerbations of other health conditions like heart disease, diabetes, and chronic respiratory illness will need to be addressed, along with emotional and mental health issues. Symptoms of anxiety and depression may not appear for weeks or even months after an earthquake, and can affect people of any age.

In the long-term, Haiti faces outbreaks of diarrheal diseases such as e. coli and cholera due to lack of clean drinking water and health-care options, especially dangerous to infants and young children.

The true horror of the situation, and the lasting impact on health, will play itself out over years, not weeks or months. Now is the time for the people of the world to unite and make a difference in the lives of those who are suffering, but this is not going to be one of those one-time fix it and forget it events. The extended consequences of this disaster are unimaginable.

If you would like to donate to the people of Haiti, please be aware that the scam artists have wasted no time in jumping on the bandwagon. Make sure that your contributions go to well-established organizations with experience in dealing with the aftermath natural disasters. For further information, please read: How to Help Haiti.

Visit Haitifeed.com for twitter updates, photos, videos, and more.

HAITI INFORMATION AND ACTIONS

INFORMATION

How to Help Haiti

Long-Term Health Problems Facing Haiti After Earthquake

Haiti in Chaos After Earthquake

Help Haiti: a Day Without Pay

Pat Robertson is Going to Hell 

Rescue Dogs Sent to Haiti from Around the World

Haiti After the Quake + How to Help

Animal Victims in Haiti Need Your Help

PETITIONS:

Haitian Earthquake Has Destroyed the Capital City   Mercy Corps

Haiti’s reconstruction by Haitians living aboard     For these noble goals, we ask that the government of the country in which we reside to task our pay check $10 per pay period for the next 50 years so that we can rebuild our dear Haiti.

Pat Robertson: APOLOGIZE

Support the UN’s Response to Haiti Quake Victims United Nations Foundation

Honor UN Peacekeepers in Haiti  Better World Campaign

 

Photo: Creative Commons CC BY 2.0 via UNDP Global



46 comments

Jeanne Rogers
Jeanne Rabout a month ago

Thank you for sharing.

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Jeanne Rogers
Jeanne Rabout a month ago

Thank you for sharing.

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Jeanne Rogers
Jeanne Rabout a month ago

Thank you for sharing.

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Jeanne Rogers
Jeanne Rabout a month ago

Thank you for sharing.

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Chanelle Nelmes
Chanelle Nelmes5 years ago

lat is sed what Japan going thro

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Past Member
Past Member 6 years ago

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Past Member
Past Member 6 years ago

Thank you for the sensible critique. Me and my neighbor were just preparing to do some research about this. We got a grab a book from our local library but I think I learned more from this post. I am very glad to see such great information being shared freely out there. muscle building

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Dan S.
Dan S.6 years ago

I am probably not the only one who thought about this but wouldn't it make more sense, be easier faster more efficient and healthier in the long run for everyone if can be done to fly and relocate the victims who are waiting for help in liveable nearby towns cities and countries with drinking water,housing and functionnal hospitals than having to bring rescue into such a mess and unliveable conditions. until the island can be cleaned up and restored.
Water Damage Restoration

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poepiesnoepie k.
Past Member 6 years ago

This is normal for a place which has just been ravaged by this disaster... authorities should ensure safe water, shelter, adequate medicines, and clothing as well.. all the basic necessities of the people affected must be properly addressed.

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Nellie K A.
Nellie K Adaba6 years ago

They all need food, shelter, medicine, clothes and other basic needs.

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