Situation Update: 1/18/2010
Event Updates: The death toll and number of affected people are continuing to change with estimates of 30,000- 100,000. An estimated 3 million people are believed to be affected, with reports of 250,000 people injured. Population statistics (e.g., number of death, affected, and displaced) in humanitarian emergencies are often a moving target during the first stages of the emergency. Numbers are likely to change daily.
Search and Rescue/Access/Logistics
There are 43 search and rescue teams, 1739 workers and 161 dogs. Search and rescue is primarily occurring in PAP and teams will be traveling to regions outside of PAP. Access to regions closest to the epicenter is still limited. Fuel continues to be a challenge. Much of the personnel and supply transport is going from the DR to Haiti via Jimani causing some degree of congestion and travel delays.
Sheltering large displaced population in needs of basics services (food, water, sanitation) can often be dependent upon available locations and available road access. Large populations living in crowded conditions can increase risks for communicable diseases (e.g. diarrhea, meningitis, measles) if adequate water and sanitation cannot be provided. In discussion with the government IOM is planning a temporary settlement for an estimated 100,000 people with the goal of eventual smaller settlements.
At this time, healthcare in Haiti is dependent upon functioning buildings and adequate supplies that will enable healthcare professionals to provide clinical care. The Health Cluster (21 organizations) led by the WHO report there are 7 field hospitals. Plans for a hospital structural assessment is in process. The ICRC (International Committee of the Red Cross) is providing medical kits and emergency response units in collaboration with the Haitian Red Cross.
Mortality during the early stages of an earthquake disaster is often due to trauma. Although the majority of injuries are to due to minor injuries, there are major traumatic injuries (e.g. crush injuries, multiple fractures, etc) that create large demands on already compromise health facilities.
WFP has reported providing 73,000 people on Jan17, the total number of people in need of food has not been formally reported and confirmed.
The need for coordination and collaboration increases as agencies better understand the acute needs while quickly mobilizing staff and supplies. The UN Cluster system
is being used to coordinate efforts among many agencies across sectors. Other coordinating groups exist as well. The crisis mappers network of 465 subscribers have communicated with over 300+ emails in 6 days. They are information communication technology developers who have been coordinating with government, NGO, private agencies to provide up to date maps, and digital information for the Haiti response.
What are we doing, and what can we continue to do?
– Individual EM faculty continue to offer their clinical support for potential deployment. (They comprise of 50% of the volunteers at NMH)-at this time there are no immediate plans to deploy NMH EM staff
– Consider donating through Northwestern affiliated avenues: Northwestern Memorial Foundation http://foundation.nmh.org