While flood waters in Gonaives have mostly receded, some parts of the devastated town remain inaccessible and many people have not had access to healthcare, clean water, and food for 15 days. A Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) team continues to support the Raboteau Health Center in Gonaives where more than 1,000 consultations have been carried out to date. The five-person team has treated 250 wounded people and carried out 20 minor and major surgical procedures there. More and more people are now presenting with pathologies consistent with flooded conditions, including diarrhea, respiratory infections, and skin diseases.
To improve access to health care in Gonaives, MSF began operating mobile clinics on September 14 in shelters where families have sought refuge. However, it appears that 20 other health centers are still inaccessible due to impassable roads.
Yesterday, a team of three nurses and one doctor went to Gonaives University, where 102 families with children have stayed for 14 days without access to clean water and healthcare. They examined 36 people in two hours, most of them suffering from fever, diarrhea or respiratory infections. There is risk of disease propagating rapidly within the community, in an environment where people are gathered in close proximity to one another.
The MSF team in Gonaives now consists of 20 people, among them eight medical staff and nine logisticians. Additional staff members are arriving and 23 tons of cargo has just arrived from Brussels, including medical kits, water and sanitation materials, and medicines.
Plans are underway to strengthen mobile clinics teams to ensure the most affected are reached, and MSF is preparing to open a second level health center that can offer more advanced surgery.
© Francois Servranckx/MSF