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Haiti Floods and Earthquakes 2023

Active Emergency
June 2023 (Photo/Pierre Michel Jean/Redux)
Doctor in blue shirt with stethoscope and blood pressure cuff checks blood pressure of elderly man seated at exam table

Our Mobile Medical Team Responds

The first day Americares mobile clinic was providing care in southwest Haiti, Dr. Dominique Georges saw something unusual in the afternoon: patients were returning. “The first people to receive treatment went home and then returned a short time later with four or five family members,” says Dr. Georges, Americares Haiti program director. Americares dispatched the mobile clinic in response to flooding and earthquakes in southwest Haiti. “There’s an overwhelming need for care in communities cut off from access to care since the earthquake,” says Dr. Georges.

The problem began with heavy rainfall and massive flooding, followed just days later by back-to-back earthquakes.

“The destructive flooding and earthquake damage in western Haiti have cut off access to health services in many communities. There are pregnant women who cannot get to a hospital to deliver their babies and people in desperate need of medicine,” says Americares Director of International Emergency Response Cora Nally. “Our mobile medical team will be there to provide essential — potentially lifesaving — health care throughout the recovery.”

Watch the latest update from Haiti Program Director Dr. Waly Turin by clicking on the arrow.

Updated 10/3/23

Haiti Program Director Dr. Dominique Georges treats a patient in a rural community in Haiti in response to the recent earthquake and flood. (Photo/Pierre Michel Jean/Redux)

The Crisis and our Response

In just the first week, the mobile team treated 500 patients, including a 5-month-old baby who needed hospitalization. To date the team has provided 8,996 consultations since July 8th, referring 142 patients to the local hospital for more treatment, as well as referring 8 suspected Cholera cases. The team will provide care in remote communities for three months. All of the medical professionals on the team are local Haitians working under the direction of an Americares physician based in Haiti.

Americares also plans to provide emergency funding for medicine and medical supplies to a pediatric hospital in Port-au-Prince, as well as provide additional support for cholera prevention. 

Standing medical team member in blue shirt prepares medicine for mother and daughter seated at table with supplies.
Mobile medical team pharmacist Merdina Ency dispenses medicine to patients in rural Haiti, July 2023 (Photo/Pierre Michel Jean/Redux)

In late May, heavy rainfall and massive flooding swept across Haiti, damaging or destroying more than 14,000 homes and claiming 51 lives, according to the Pan American Health Organization. Just days after the flooding, back-to-back earthquakes struck the same region, exacerbating the situation. In Grand’Anse alone, the United Nations reported 13,000 people are displaced.

The heavy rain and flooding affected five hospitals and has raised concerns about access to clean water, sanitation and health care services. There is concern about the spread of cholera; after three years with no reported cases, Haiti has seen a resurgence of cholera since October. The flooding, earthquake damage and health concerns come amid widespread food shortages and gang violence that’s led to a humanitarian crisis throughout the country—the poorest in the region.

Our History in Haiti and Around the World

Americares has worked in Haiti since the 1980s, supporting health centers and local organizations with donated medicine and medical supplies in response to emergencies and ongoing needs. Over the years Americares has responded to the 2010 Port-au-Prince earthquakeHurricane Matthew in 2016, the 2021 earthquake and the COVID-19 pandemic in Haiti. 

Americares responds to more than 30 natural disasters and humanitarian crises worldwide each year, establishes long-term recovery projects and brings disaster preparedness programs to communities vulnerable to disasters. Since its founding more than 40 years ago, Americares has provided $22 billion in aid to 164 countries.