Haiti Earthquake

Honoring Five Years

Five-years after the 2010 earthquake devastated Haiti, International Medical Corps’ teams are still on the ground delivering vital health care and training services to help disaster-affected communities return to self-reliance.


Over three-quarters of a billion people lack access to safe drinking water and 2.5 billion are without even basic sanitation facilities. Consequently, roughly half the hospital beds in the developing world are occupied by people suffering from water and sanitation-related diseases such as cholera, diarrhea, pneumonia, eye and skin infections, and malaria.

Our Response

International Medical Corps incorporates water and sanitation into all of our community-based programs so that public health is not only possible, but sustainable. Our projects teach people how to prevent cholera and other diseases, by building latrines, hand washing stations, and waste disposal systems across urban and rural locations. Our hygiene trainings help community members form healthy habits that last a lifetime and are passed down to future generations. In our disaster response work we also aim to prevent outbreaks of cholera, as we are currently doing in Nepal.

Most cholera cases — 80 percent — are treated through oral rehydration salts (ORS), which help reverse dehydration and restore potassium levels following the onset of acute diarrhea. The most severe cases, in which the patient is extremely dehydrated, can be treated through intravenous (IV) fluids and antibiotics.

We are currently working on water projects in Nepal, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Iraq, Haiti, Somalia, and Kenya.

About International Medical Corps

Since 1984, International Medical Corps has helped tens of millions of people in over 70 countries, delivering emergency relief and training valued at $2 billion.

A preeminent First Responder, we provide emergency relief often within hours to those hit by disaster, no matter where they are, no matter what the conditions. Our teams have responded to a roll call of major crises over the last 30 years, including Afghanistan, Rwanda, the Balkans, Darfur, Haiti, Japan, Iraq, Syria and the Philippines. In many of these places we remain, helping communities along the path from relief to self-reliance.


FROM RELIEF TO SELF-RELIANCE

For 30 years, International Medical Corps has worked to relieve the suffering of those impacted by war, natural disaster and disease by delivering vital health care services that focus on training, helping devastated populations return to self-reliance.

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Monley's Story: A Survivor 5 Years Later

Five-year-old Monley was pulled from the rubble of the Haiti earthquake after being trapped for an astonishing 8 days. As most of the world was losing those final glimmers of hope that survivors of the earthquake in Haiti could still be rescued, Monley’s uncle, Garry, uncovered him from under the collapsed home that had killed Monley’s parents. As Garry rushed into the street with the limp, dirt-covered boy in his arms, International Medical Corps’ Dr. Neil Joyce, was driving by. They put Monley in the car, gave him electrolytes, and rushed him to our doctors and nurses at Hopital de l’Universite d’Etat d’Haiti in downtown Port-au-Prince.

Read more of Monley's story

Earthquake Response

At the peak of International Medical Corps’ emergency response after the earthquake, our volunteer doctors and nurses saw as many as 1,000 patients a day while simultaneously training Haitian counterparts. Within two weeks, we established 13 primary health clinics in displacement camps and earthquake-affected areas throughout Haiti providing some 350,000 medical consultations. We also mobilized more than 400 medical volunteers across the United States, including emergency room, intensive care, and pediatric doctors and nurses as well as mental health experts and infectious disease specialists. Over the lasts five years, we trained Haitians in order to build capacity for the long-term and operated vital programs in nutrition, mental health care, water, sanitation and hygiene. In keeping with our mission to promote self-reliance through training, International Medical Corps also launched a Continuing Medical Education program in Haiti.

Cholera Outbreak

International Medical Corps was one of the very first organizations to respond to an unprecedented cholera outbreak in October 2010 and had medical staff on the ground in Artibonite (where the first cases developed) days before the outbreak was confirmed to be cholera. We aggressively rolled out a network of cholera treatment centers (CTCs) and mobile medical units in Haiti’s most remote and affected areas to care for tens of thousands of cholera patients. Because cholera was a new disease in Haiti, the majority of the country’s health workers had never seen it before the outbreak. International Medical Corps made the Ministry of Health and local doctors, nurses, and community health workers central to our cholera response. We trained and mentored more than 1,200 doctors, nurses, and community health workers so that our network of CTCs were established and staffed largely by local health professionals. We also distributed more than 765,000 hygiene and sanitation materials and educated more than 2 million Haitians on cholera prevention.

Haiti Today

“Over 500,000 people still have no permanent shelter, living in camps with limited access to clean water. The cholera outbreak that began in October 2010 continues to claim lives, particularly of those most vulnerable: children under five, pregnant women, and the elderly. Haiti’s political and economic situation is extremely fragile, and the country is vulnerable to natural disasters, including hurricanes, floods, earthquakes, landslides, and droughts. Despite a progressive decrease of cholera cases since January, weekly cases have significantly increased since the rainy season mid-September (PAHO, 02/12/2014).” - ACAPS’s Global Emergency Overview Snapshot for 17 December 2014 to 6 January 2015

International Medical Corps’ local teams are continuing to provide critical medical care in Haiti today. We are responding to cholera in the “Grand North” through community outreach and six mobile medical units that are able to reach vulnerable families. International Medical Corps has also responded to localized flooding in the North and continues to monitor humanitarian needs.

Sienna Miller's Travelogue: Haiti .
International Medical Corps Haiti & Japan Disaster Response
CNN: The Story of Monley in Haiti
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