When the 7.0 earthquake struck Port-au-Prince in January 2010, International Medical Corps was on-the-ground saving lives within 22 hours. Today we continue to help rebuild the broken health infrastructure through training programs including Continuing Medical Education (CME) courses for local health professionals and technical assistance to the Ministry of Health for cholera surveillance, control and prevention. We are also providing cholera treatment and prevention services through mobile medical units (MMUs) in hard-to-reach remote communities in Southern Haiti.
Following Hurricane Sandy, which caused more than 50 deaths in Haiti and left over 200,000 homeless, International Medical Corps added MMUs at our Les Cayes site, one of the hardest hit areas – in just two months we provided nearly 2,500 medical consultations. Our teams also conducted public education sessions for nearly 8,500 people on malaria, water treatment and hygiene, use of bed nets and waste management. We are also working to rehabilitate the Aquin water system to ensure a safe supply and distribute shelter, hygiene and essential supplies to populations affected by Sandy in the South Department.
A cholera outbreak that has killed more than 7,500 people since October 2010 remains a threat, with cases spiking after each tropical storm. International Medical Corps was one of the first responders to Haiti’s cholera epidemic, rolling out a network of 10 cholera treatment centers that provided lifesaving cholera care and treatment services to more than 33,215 cholera patients. We also linked the cholera treatment centers to a network of 24 oral rehydration points and ran 4 mobile medical units. In addition, we reached 723,255 community members with cholera awareness and prevention messages. Today we continue to provide cholera treatment and prevention services in Southern Haiti.
In the fall of 2010, we completed our first CME program with the Haitian Medical Association and brought together Haitian physicians to focus on emergency obstetrics as well as medical certification and board accreditation. We also ran an emergency medicine development program at Port-au-Prince's General Hospital (HUEH) that trained more than 300 Haitian physicians and nurses in nearly every component of emergency care delivery. We are currently implementing additional CME courses in Haiti to improve quality of care throughout the existing health care infrastructure.
During the initial emergency response, International Medical Corps deployed more than 400 medical volunteers to provide lifesaving care to Haitians and support the ER and ICU at HUEH. Since the earthquake, International Medical Corps established a network of primary health care clinics in and around the earthquake-affected areas and launched other programs in mental health, nutrition, child protection, early childhood development, water and sanitation, disaster risk reduction, emergency medicine development, and cholera prevention and response.