Haiti: One Year Later

On January 12, 2010 a 7.0 magnitude earthquake hit the Haitian capital of Port-au-Prince and took the lives of 230,000 people and injured more than 300,000. More than one million Haitians were left homeless. One year later, Haitians are still trying to recover.

In the aftermath of this horrific quake, more than a million Haitians live in tent camps. Still one year later, less than five percent of the debris has been cleared. Bodies are still buried under the rubble and people still aren’t getting food and water that they need. To make matters worse, this past fall, a cholera outbreak took about 3,600 more lives.

Throughout the first year, physicians and nurses from various organizations worked closely with Haitian medical staff and local organizations. The goal was to identify gaps in knowledge and skills, develop training programs and provide on the job training to improve the quality of care for Haitians. The focus of the training was on triage, drug and pharmacy management, infection control, STD/HIV management, vaccinations, nutrition, mental health diagnosis and case management. More recently, nurses are helping to train Haitian medical staff on how to prevent, identify and treat cholera.

Even a year later, devastation in Haiti is still widespread. With more than one million Haitians still living in tent cities, the need for quality medical care, food, clean water and proper sanitation is great. The need for nurses in Haiti continues one year later.

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