*Numbers taken from clinics held between February 7 and 14, 2010.
In order to meet the medical needs of those left homeless by the January 12 earthquake, Partners In Health (PIH) and its sister organization Zanmi Lasante (ZL) are running mobile medical clinics in four settlement sites where tens of thousands of displaced earthquake survivors are currently living.
The clinics provide comprehensive primary health care services, including reproductive health care, HIV testing, and malnutrition screening to an estimated population of 80,000-100,000 displaced people. Altogether, the mobile clinics treated nearly 4,200 patients during their first week of operation.
The four settlements, all located in or around Port-au-Prince, have been named: Building 2004, Caradeux, Park Jean Marie Vincent, and Delmas 3. PIH/ZL began working at these specific sites in collaboration with Haiti’s Ministry of Public Health (MSPP). In the largest settlement, Parc Jean Marie Vincent, PIH is also working in collaboration with Médecins Sans Frontières-Belgium, which is supporting a women’s health clinic.
Each site is staffed by a team of physicians, nurses, pharmacists, and lab technicians, reported Dr. Paul Pierre of PIH/ZL. About 230 health care workers in total are currently involved in the clinics.
In addition to these on-going clinics, PIH/ZL also supported organizations requesting help for providing health care services to groups of people with urgent needs. For example, on February 8, PIH/ZL and Fonkoze (a banking institution for poor communities) also co-organized a one-day mobile clinic at an orphanage – located at another temporary settlement called Tabarre 27.
The most common symptoms for which patients sought treatment include fever, abdominal pain, chest congestion, and headache.
Zanmi Lasante will work to provide necessary services and referrals to patients who require follow up care, including pregnant women and HIV-positive patients.
In addition to treating patients’ medical needs, PIH/ZL is also working with Haitian grassroots groups and other organizations to provide other basic needs. These organizations include ACTED, which is working as camp managers at a planned settlement camp; and Operation Blessing, an organization installing water purification systems. PIH/ZL is also advocating for other organizations to follow through on helping to tackle the current largest challenges--providing food, sanitation, and shelter at these settlements.
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