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Haiti

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When a devastating earthquake hit Haiti on January 12, International Medical Corps was on the ground, providing emergency medical care and assistance in less than 24 hours. During the emergency response, International Medical Corps deployed more than 400 medical volunteers to provide lifesaving care to Haitians. Since the earthquake, International Medical Corps has gone on to establish a network of 14 primary health care clinics in and around the earthquake-affected areas of Port-au-Prince, Petit Goave, and Jacmel and launch other programmes in mental health, nutrition, child protection, early childhood development, and water and sanitation.

A cholera outbreak in 2010 has killed more than 330 people and hospitalized over 5,000 in Haiti. International Medical Corps is fighting the outbreak via Cholera Treatment Centres (CTCs) and through its network of Community Health Workers, launching massive education campaigns on cholera symptoms and prevention, to bring this deadly but preventable disease under control.

 

Emergency Response
International Medical Corps was on the ground delivering lifesaving medical care 22 hours after the earthquake. We set up an initial base of operations at the Hopital de Universite d’Etat d’Haiti (HUEH), the largest hospital in Port-au-Prince, where volunteer doctors and nurses fought around the clock to save lives and heal the injured. More than 16,000 people received care through our work at HUEH. At the peak, our volunteer doctors and nurses saw as many as 1,000 patients a day whilst simultaneously training Haitian counterparts.

Within two weeks, we established 13 primary health clinics in displacement camps and earthquake-affected areas throughout Haiti. We mobilised 408 medical volunteers from around the world including emergency room, intensive care, and paediatric doctors and nurses as well as mental health experts and infectious disease specialists. We trained Haitians during the emergency in order to start strengthening capacity for the long-term. Our logistics and in-kind donation partners helped deliver critical medicines, supplies, and equipment. We quickly established a logistics base in the Dominican Republic, procured supplies locally, and worked with partners who had supplies pre-positioned in warehouses in Haiti.

Cholera response
In late October 2010, an outbreak of the water-borne disease cholera broke out in Artibonite, a rural region north of Port-au-Prince.  International Medical Corps was one of the first organisations to respond and had medical staff on the ground in Artibonite days before the outbreak was confirmed. International Medical Corps rolled out a network of 37 cholera treatment centres (CTCs) and mobile medical units in Haiti’s most remote and affected areas to care for more than 39,700 cholera patients.

Because cholera is 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 (MoH) and local doctors, nurses, and community health workers central to its cholera response. International Medical Corps 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 and could eventually be handed over to the MoH and be a part of the country’s long-term infrastructure to prevent and treat cholera.

In the South Department, 14% of cholera cases resulted in death until International Medical Corps took over the area’s two largest CTCs. One month later, the fatality rate fell to 2.5%. Two months later, it was 0.5%.  This success is largely due to the fact that International Medical Corps trains local health professionals to handle cholera and then mobilises entire communities in the fight against the disease. International Medical Corps reached more than 2 million people with cholera awareness and prevention messages and distributed more than 765,200 hygiene and sanitation items, which help Haitians to protect themselves against cholera.

A focus on water and sanitation projects has laid the foundation necessary for Haiti to eradicate cholera in the long term, through building latrines, hand washing stations, and waste disposal systems across urban and rural locations. International Medical Corps incorporates water and sanitation into all of our community-based programmes so that public health is not only possible, but sustainable.

 

Haiti

Just 22 hours after the devastating 7.0-earthquake hit in January 2010, International Medical Corps’ Emergency Response Team was on the ground in Haiti providing medical care to survivors. Our doctors and nurses were able to mobilise on an unparalleled scale to provide 24-hour emergency care to the acutely injured at the Hôpital de l’Université d’État d’Haiti (HUEH), a 700-bed hospital in Port-au-Prince. HUEH was badly damaged in the earthquake and many local health care professionals were missing. We were able to save thousands of lives through emergency and trauma care in the critical days following the earthquake.

At the height of emergency operations at the hospital, International Medical Corps treated approximately 1,000 patients per day. Our early entry also gave us the foundation to rapidly expand our operations to 15 mobile clinics throughout Haiti to provide critical services. Through the hospital and mobile and fixed clinics, International Medical Corps teams provided more than 110,000 patient consultations during the first year following the emergency.

When reports of acute diarrhoea emerged from the north of Haiti in October 2010, International Medical Corps doctors and nurses immediately deployed to the region providing emergency relief for the growing cholera crisis. Our network of rapidly constructed cholera treatment centres, supported by 820 community health volunteers to educate communities on how to prevent and identify cholera, meant that more than 30,000 cholera patients received life-saving treatment within the first year following the outbreak.

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Libya

Libya ambulanceInternational Medical Corps was among the first organisations to enter Libya once the conflict began in February 2011, providing emergency medical care to casualties from the fighting and support to hospitals with medical staff and supplies. Among the first challenges our Emergency Response Teams encountered was a chronic shortage of nurses, as thousands of foreign nurses had fled the country. In partnership with the Jordan Health Aid Society, International Medical Corps immediately deployed volunteer nurses to health centres across eastern Libya moving them to towns and cities throughout the country as access permitted. Volunteer nurses trained the local counterparts while working alongside them.

At the country’s borders and within Libya, we supplied those displaced by the fighting with essential relief items, including blankets, bottled water and food. Recognising the danger posed by communicable diseases, our sanitation and hygiene specialists constructed latrines and washing stations in transit camps along the Tunisia borders.

Libya 5As the fighting went on International Medical Corps worked as close to the front line as possible, providing emergency treatment to those injured in the conflict, and medicines and supplies to besieged towns and cities. In Misurata, inaccessible by road, we evacuated nearly 500 injured civilians by boat. International Medical Corps’ mobile field hospitals treated the wounded from battles in Tripoli, the Western Mountains, Bani Walid, Sabha, Jufrah and Qaddafi’s hometown of Sirte.

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Mali

Mali - villagerInternational Medical Corps mobilized an emergency response in Mali in January 2013 after rebel armed forces from the north began moving south, triggering French military intervention. In Timbuktu, which had spent months under the control of armed Islamist rebel our team were amongst the first international organisations to arrive and found pillaged clinics, missing medical personnel and damaged health infrastructure.

We immediately began supporting eight strategically targeted health clinics in remote areas around Timbuktu, where the Malian Ministry of Health has been unable to maintain adequate services to local communities. By providing medicines, training staff and recruiting qualified doctors and nurses, we can ensure local people will now have access to basic primary and secondary health care for the first time in months

Mali-Road-to-TimbuktuTrue to our mission to build self reliance, International Medical Corps is also already training community health workers to go out to local markets and spread essential hygiene, reproductive health and nutrition messages. We are also working to rehabilitate clinics damaged during the conflict, by building or repairing latrines, water systems, solar panel systems and other infrastructure repairs, enabling health workers to have stable and well-equipped facilities to help the people of Mali.

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Basanti & Bishal's story

Basanti, a young mother of two in Nepal, returned home from fetching water for her family to find her 8-month old son Bishal had fallen into the open cooking fire. Basanti was in shock, but she wrapped her baby in blankets and ran for help. No one in their village or at the local health post knew what to do so she had to travel more than six hours by bus to seek emergency care at the closest hospital. The district hospital could only stabilize Bishal and wasn’t able to treat his wounds properly. As a result, his little fingers contracted into a fist as the burned skin contracted and “healed” over the coming year, making it impossible for him to use his hand. His cheek, lips and eyelid also contracted and tightened, threatening his vision.

After selling part of their farm to pay for transportation to Kathmandu, Basanti sought further treatment for her baby. However, two hospitals in the nation’s capital could not help either. Adding to Basanti’s struggles, her husband abandoned the family, leaving her alone to care for Bishal and his four-year-old sister.

Thankfully, Basanti heard about the surgical care available through ReSurge International, our trusted partner with a 43-year history of serving burn victims. Dr. Rai, ReSurge’s Outreach Director in Nepal, and his team restored Bishal’s eyelid and his hand will soon be surgically repaired as well.

Even though it took more than a year for him to get appropriate treatment, Bishal is one of the lucky ones. Thousands of children never get the care they need to live a normal life after a disabling burn.

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Our impact through training in 2012

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Our Mother Care Group Approach

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Read more about our community based approach to prevention and treatment of malnutrition

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