Health Systems Reconstruction: Haiti Earthquake 2010
Haiti: Progress and Challenges
Following the devastating earthquake in Haiti two years ago, CDC pledged to help rebuild and strengthen Haiti’s public health infrastructure. Over the past two years, 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. More than 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 2 years of progress. Since January 2010, a national disease surveillance system has been established to track infectious diseases, including cholera; 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 assisting with Haiti’s long-term public health challenges. To accomplish that goal, CDC has established the Health Systems Reconstruction Office (HSRO), which is working closely with Haiti public health officials to assess and respond to immediate public health needs and to plan for the future. For more on challenges and progress, see CDC commentary in NEJM.