Medical Needs Ongoing in Haiti

From the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine in South Florida.

Multiple new challenges now face health care providers in Haiti, more than a month since the magnitude 7.0 earthquake hit Port-au-Prince.  Health care workers who delivered acute care in the days and weeks after the natural disaster–including limb amputations, setting of fractures, and other emergency surgeries–are now shifting their attention to address to hunger, prolonged wound care, and a widespread need for psychoemotional support.

Dr. Andre Vulcain of the University of Miami's Project Haiti; photo by Damian McNamara

Hundreds of thousands of Haitians fled the capital for the provincial towns in the first month post-earthquake, forcing what was a more contained crisis to become multifocal, Dr. Andre Vulcain said. Dr. Vulcain, Assistant Professor of Family Medicine at the University of Miami, regularly travels back and forth from Miami to Haiti as faculty liaison for the university’s Haiti Project. The project provides assistance to establish family medicine residency programs in that country.

The evolving public health crisis in Haiti includes identification and treatment of people with active tuberculosis (TB). With about 250,000 refugees fleeing Port-au-Prince so far, control of TB and other infectious diseases is one of the major concerns at the moment, Dr. Vulcain said.

A need for physical therapists to help the victims of the earthquake is particularly acute, Dr. Vulcain said. If you are a health care worker who can provide physical therapy or help to address the many other medical needs in Haiti, please leave a comment below. I will forward all serious inquiries directly to Dr. Vulcain.

— Damian McNamara (On Twitter @MedReporter)

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Filed under Emergency Medicine, Family Medicine, Hospital and Critical Care Medicine, IMNG, Infectious Diseases, Internal Medicine, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Psychiatry, Surgery

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