New MSF emergency health clinic in Haiti an “advance”

April 10, 2012

Medical aid charity Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) has opened a new emergency health referral centre in Haiti, which will celebrate its official launch on Wednesday in conjunction with Haiti’s health ministry.

The move is part of a much-needed campaign to improve conditions in a country where the vast majority of people live below the poverty line.

“MSF is now supporting the Ministry of Public Health and Population with 600 hospital beds in Haiti for emergency care,” said Gaëtan Drossart, MSF’s head of mission in Haiti.

“This is still far from adequate, but is nevertheless an advance.”

The surgical referral centre is the third such emergency treatment facility opened by MSF in the capital Port-au-Prince since a devastating 7.0 magnitude earthquake struck the country in January 2010.

The quake killed about 300,000 people and left more than 1.5 million homeless.

The 107-bed Nap Kenbe, or Staying Well, centre was completed in February this year to treat trauma related to falls and road accidents, and victims of violence, such as beatings, assaults and bullet wounds.

It is the fourth emergency treatment facility MSF has opened in Haiti since the quake. After the disaster, the agency launched the biggest emergency operation in its history.

MSF treated more than 30 percent of Haiti’s cholera patients in 2010-2011, according to the agency, which has been working in the country since 1991 responding to crises and natural disasters.

Picture credit: A man stricken with cholera waits for relatives to visit at a cholera treatment centre run by Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) in Port-au-Prince October 21, 2011. REUTERS/Swoan Parker

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