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Long-Term Health Problems Facing Haiti After Earthquake

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

 

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Photo: Creative Commons CC BY 2.0 via UNDP Global



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42 comments

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2:45AM PDT on Mar 17, 2011

lat is sed what Japan going thro

6:34AM PDT on Nov 1, 2010

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6:22AM PDT on Nov 1, 2010

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4:31AM PDT on Aug 23, 2010

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

1:55AM PST on Jan 29, 2010

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.

2:26PM PST on Jan 22, 2010

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

2:25PM PST on Jan 22, 2010

The people need to relocate to other islands, the islands shoudl accept them and not refuse them. They should be taken as refugees. The kids should be adopted by French-speakers instead of non-French speakers. I'm saying this because I'm a French-speaker and would want to lose my identity. So many kids from different countries get adopt it by people who do not speak their language, the younger kids become assimilated and forget where they come from.

12:13PM PST on Jan 22, 2010

I heard that it would take 25 years for the country to recover...

10:12AM PST on Jan 22, 2010

I hope the sick. injured and dying people of Haiti have comprehensive health coverage through their insurance companies to be treated effectively. Will they have to come up with deductible amounts and copayments like Americans do? As far as aid distribution is concerned, I think that women (who are the household organizers) would be of more value than just male soldiers "on the ground" as Brig. Gen. Keen said. When asked about plans for distributing the aid brought in the US planes, he looked confused and surprised. My jaw dropped and then I was extremely appalled.

12:13PM PST on Jan 21, 2010

The emergency health crisis has happened and is on going but the future health crisis is going to be enormous. I would like to bring special attention to the elderly. When ever there is a huge crisis it is always the elderly who suffer the most, in silence, and who recieve the least amount of help and support. Yesterday on CTV (Canadian) news there was a report about an old folks home in Haiti. Eight days after the quake and still nearly no aid for these helpless, weak, vulnerable and abandoned old people - many who cannot walk and have now lost the last of the people who care about them or even remember that they exist. The reporter said that not only are them not getting any aid but there is absolutely no plan to do anything for them or with them. The world is stumbling over itself to help the injured and the orphans but not a word or thought for the old. Please don't forget them. Right now there are Grandpas and Grandmas who have not eaten for days, are left sitting out in 35 degree heat with no shade or shelter and those who cannot even get out of their wheel chairs have been left to sit in their excrement and urine. Whilst the reporter was filming some teenagers attacked the old, beating them and stealing even an old man's pants.

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