Go to main content

Haiti: Handicap International mobile teams are treating injured people

Emergency
Haiti

Hurricane Matthew, which struck Haiti on 4th October, has caused the biggest humanitarian crisis since the 2010 earthquake. In the Les Cayes region alone, more than 3,000 casualties have been recorded, while the hospitals are struggling with extremely limited resources. Handicap International is starting its operation to provide rehabilitation care to the injured. In addition, the distribution of more than 1,000 kits enabling emergency repairs to be made to people’s homes is about to get underway.
 

Catastrophic situation in the north west of Haiti

© B.Almeras / Handicap International

The situation in the south-west and north-west of Haiti is desperate - the figures speak for themselves. According to the United Nations,  though it is now two weeks since the hurricane struck, 1.4 million people are still in need of humanitarian aid and 750,000 people require immediate assistance.

In the Les Cayes region, the authorities have reported more than 3,000 casualties. Handicap International’s own teams have seen for themselves the extreme scarcity of healthcare facilities, which have only meagre resources with which to treat their patients.

Including the most isolated in the humanitarian response

“For this reason we need to assist the local health structures: supply them with suitable equipment, support them in caring for people with injuries or disabilities and, if necessary, provide training in rehabilitation care,” explains Hélène Robin, head of emergency operations at Handicap International.

Handicap International’s emergency activities are now underway with the deployment of mobile teams. The first of these has started work in the hospitals and collective shelters. Their aims are to provide initial rehabilitation care to those with injuries and disabilities, supply them with walking aids to help them get around, and identify the most vulnerable people who do not have access to the assistance they need. A second team is currently being set up in order to step up provision in the very near future.

“It is vital that those who cannot get around or are isolated are not left out,” Hélène Robin points out. “As soon as we have the necessary funding, additional mobile teams will be deployed in remote areas, tasked with identifying those who are injured or vulnerable.”

Once identified, injured, disabled and vulnerable people will be supported by the organisation or referred to the most appropriate health provider for their needs. A team of psychosocial support specialists will organise specific activities designed to help people overcome psychological trauma.

Provision of 1,000 shelter kits for the most vulnerable

According to the United Nations, 90% of homes in the town of Jérémie have been destroyed. Around 1.25 million people, including 500,000 children, need access to safe drinking water and adequate sanitation.  For some their houses have been totally destroyed, while for others their homes are in such a state of disrepair that families simply cannot return.

1,000 emergency shelter  kits will be distributed by Handicap International as quickly as possible to enable local people to regain access to sustainable sanitation facilities. These kits contain the equipment needed to build emergency shelters or repair houses (including tools, ropes, fasteners and tarpaulins). Hygiene kits are also needed to protect people from cholera and contain a potentially widespread epidemic.

A catastrophic situation in the north-west 

The north-west is one of the poorest areas in Haiti. The devastation wreaked by the hurricane has exacerbated an already highly precarious situation, with homes either destroyed or very badly damaged and a lack of hygiene and access to food.

“We are studying the options for interventions in this area which so far has had very little coverage by the humanitarian agencies,” Hélène Robin explains, “in order to prevent the situation of the affected communities and their most vulnerable residents from deteriorating any further.” 

Emergency appeal

Handicap International UK has launched an emergency appeal to support disabled and vulnerable people affected by the disaster in Haiti.

Please donate online now or text HIUK01 £5 to 70070.

Where your support helps

Read more

Indonesia tsunami: many victims still out of reach
© CIS-Timor/ HI
Emergency

Indonesia tsunami: many victims still out of reach

The impact of the earthquake and tsunami that hit Indonesia continues to be felt. Liquefaction (the process of loose soil acting like a liquid during an earthquake) has engulfed entire villages, leaving more than 10,000 people injured and 800 missing.

Indonesia tsunami: "More than 190,000 people need assistance"
© AFP PHOTO/ADEK BERRY
Emergency

Indonesia tsunami: "More than 190,000 people need assistance"

A powerful earthquake followed by a tsunami struck the centre of the Indonesian region of Sulawesi on 28th September, killing more than 1,400 people and injuring more than 2,500. Humanity & Inclusion, which has sent a support team of experts to Indonesia, is coordinating its response with local organisations.

Indonesia: Coming to the aid of tsunami victims
© HI
Emergency

Indonesia: Coming to the aid of tsunami victims

A tsunami struck the centre of the Indonesian region of Sulawesi a few days ago, killing more than 1,200 people. As HI’s teams prepare to help its victims, Pauline Falipou, one of HI’s emergency physiotherapists, who provided assistance in the wake of the earthquake in Nepal in 2015, explains the rehabilitation needs of people in this type of emergency.