MSF activities through El Salvador earthquake region

El Salvador, January 22, 2001 - As of January 22, according to official figures, the death toll has reached 704 confirmed dead but there are still high numbers missing and likely buried under the rubble. Bodies are being discovered daily. El Cafetalon, the sports stadium that has become the central location for the areas population, and has 10,000 people there during the day and 6,000 at night. MSF watsan activities, including latrines, showers and water tanks, are operational. Although there have been no confirmed cases of cholera, MSF has started the construction of a cholera camp in the El Cafetalon sports arena to handle 625 patients. There have been cholera tests in El Cafetalon for two people but the results have been negative. As of Jan 22, there have been no confirmed cases. An MSF epidemiologist has been working in the El Cafetalon sportscentre undertaking an evaluation of the assistance MSF has provided - focusing on the watsan activities - in order to evaluate the impact to the population. MSF teams remain active working in: El Cafetalon with watsan activities. Teams have assembled six water tanks, 40 latrines and showers as well as a mental health programme and the developing cholera camp: and Lourdes providing water, and building latrines in Lourdes and neighbouring communities; Armenia with watsan activities; and exploratory missions for possible health posts in the rural areas. The mental health team has conducted 230 consultations in five days. Child therapy programme have been dealing with 300 children per day. Armenia MSF is assisting at the Rosales and Maternidad hospitals with rehabilitation and construction of structures. An MSF traumatologists has been working at the San Miguel hospital; a second traumatologist has been o Santa Ana and Sonsonate hospitals; a third has been to the Usulatan hospital. MSF considers the situation in these three hospitals is satisfactory with no need for additional assistance. Lourdes Lourdes is a small town located between Colon and Nueva San Salvador. The access to Lourdes is poor with roads are very damaged due to the landslides. Approximately 800 people there have lost everything. MSF's major concern is water. There is access, but it is not drinkable. Teams have installed two water bladders as well as some latrines. There are cases of diarrhea and acute respiratory infections. Between Lourdes and San Salvador there are a lot of small communities very damaged due to the quake. Teams have provided them with water. The Lourdes team has also conducted exploratory missions to Pinar de los Suizos in northwest San Salvador. There is a camp there with 800 people and MSF has installed two water bladder there and are setting up latrines and showers. Additional information: Colon: Teams provided water to the population. Lourdes: teams installed water tanks, latrines and showers in two sportscentres (one with 300 people and the other one with 80 families). Exploratory missions: Juayua to the north of Sonsonate: watsan activities (latrines) Visit to five rural communities: MSF has set up a health post for the local community.