1 November 1998
International staff: 15 National staff: 29 BASIC HEALTHCARE & SANITATION NEEDS Haiti remains heavily dependent on external aid. The only state-run hospital was paralysed by a doctors' strike for 25 days in August/September until Aristide intervened. In the face of structural problems within the health system itself, MSF's overall objective in Haiti is to ensure regular access to quality health care and basic sanitation for the most marginalised sections of the population. Great care is taken to ensure that the projects undertaken will be sustainable in the long term. In six poor quarters of Port-au-Prince, dispensaries, public water fountains and latrines are being built or rehabilitated and support is given to dispensaries by instituting management committees, supplying essential medicines through a community pharmacy and training health workers. Assistance is also provided for setting up community health units for the 100,000 people living there. In Jérémie, the focus is on guaranteeing access to surgical services for the population of Grande Anse department, improving care for women undergoing difficult births and ensuring that isolated rural communities have access to clean drinking water. In Sud department, training is provided for 10 logistician-administrators and a network is being set up to handle medical-surgical emergencies. In Saint-Marc, Desdues and Grande Saline (pop. 200,000), financial and training support is given to the local health office for the implementation of an integrated health system focusing on mother and child health, essential drugs supplies, emergency preparedness, training and rehabilitation work.