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Remarkable Progress Five Years after Haiti Earthquake

Journal Staff Report | 1/19/2015, 8:05 a.m.
Five years after the devastating earthquake in 2010 left millions in need of urgent medical care, Haiti has made significant ...
Vaccination team member giving cholera vaccine in Cerca Carvajal. Photo courtesy of Nandini Sreenivasan/CDC.

Five years after the devastating earthquake in 2010 left millions in need of urgent medical care, Haiti has made significant progress toward rebuilding the national public health system. CDC has led the reconstruction of the health sector to establish disease surveillance systems, enhance laboratory capacity, and develop human capacity in clinical services, epidemiology, and public health leadership. Working with the Haitian government, CDC has:

• Increased the number of disease detectives to quickly detect outbreaks and effectively respond, and established a program with more than 250 water and sanitation technicians to help rural areas to improve drinking water.

• Tested more than 900,000 Haitians for HIV resulting in lifesaving treatment for over 62,000 HIV-positive adults and children.

• Made significant advances in efforts to eliminate malaria and lymphatic filariasis from Haiti, as well as improvements in tuberculosis treatment.

• Built new facilities for the Ministry of Health for laboratory, epidemiology and research staff with support of Public-Private Partnerships and CDC Foundation.

• Increased childhood vaccinations for preventable diseases including measles. A CDC-supported survey showed that vaccination rates had greatly improved.

The synergy between the post-earthquake response and the existing PEPFAR platform following the 2010 earthquake enabled CDC-Haiti to rapidly expand its mission to support the rebuilding of the national public health system and implementation of other activities related to global health security, including capacity building for the prevention, detection, and response to potential epidemic diseases and natural disasters.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention