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Haiti Earthquake: One-Year Anniversary

Photo: Dr. W. Roodly Archer and other CDC staff working with NGO staff.Following the devastating earthquake in Haiti a year ago, CDC pledged to help rebuild and strengthen Haiti's public health infrastructure. Over the past 12 months CDC has worked alongside Haiti's Ministry of Public Health and Population (MSPP), other U.S. government agencies, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), and hundreds of aid organizations to establish basic public health systems in Haiti. Almost 300 CDC scientists and other staff have deployed to Haiti to assist with disease and injury surveillance, strengthen Haiti's laboratory capacity, develop and implement clinical and community health training, and respond to the cholera outbreak that has spread across Haiti.

It has been a year of progress. Since last January, a national disease surveillance system has been established to track cholera cases, medical services were rapidly reestablished for Haitians living with HIV and TB, and Haiti's national laboratory is using rapid diagnostic tests to identify a range of infectious diseases. These and other advances are significant, but the work is far from complete.

CDC is committed to assist with Haiti's long-term public health challenges. To accomplish that goal, CDC has established the Health Systems Reconstruction office (HSR), which is working closely with Haiti public health officials to assess and respond to immediate public health needs in Haiti and to plan for the future. For more on challenges and progress, see CDC commentary in The New England Journal of Medicine.

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