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MSF role in Haiti, January 2006

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MSF has been working in Haiti since 1991 providing assistance to various communes in the Artibonite department, particularly focusing on primary health care, surgery, maternal and reproductive health.

In December 2004, MSF opened the 56-bed trauma centre at St. Joseph's Hospital in Port au Prince to provide free emergency medical and surgical services to the growing number of people injured by violent acts who had little or no access to care.

Since opening, MSF teams have treated nearly 4,500 patients  2,500 for violence-related injuries, more than 1,500 gunshot victims and 500 machete victims. Half of those treated for such injuries are women, children or elderly. MSF also offers post-surgical physiotherapy at a nearby rehabilitation centre.

In April 2005 MSF started to provide free basic health care in Decayette, with a special focus on women and children. The MSF team carries out about 120 consultations per day.

In August 2005, MSF has reopened Choscal Hospital as well as the primary health care centre of Chapi, inside Cité Soleil slum. In addition to addressing the consequences of violence, the team has been very busy providing maternal services. MSF workers in Cité Soleil practice an average of 35 caesarian sections and provide 3,500 medical consultations per months. Some women now even come from outside the slum to find the peri-natal care they need. Since the opening of Choscal Hospital, more than 600 people have been treated for violence related wound and amongst them 217 were victims of gun shots.

By March 1 2006, MSF will open the Jude Anne hospital located on Delmas 18 in Port au Prince. The project specifically targets women living in the most violent parts of the city. The hospital will provide antenatal and postnatal consultations for pregnancies presenting signs of danger for the mother and the child. Emergency obstetric care services will be available 24 hours a day, every day, including surgical capacity for caesarian sections. All the services provided by MSF will be free of charge.

With this project MSF aims to decrease the maternal mortality in the parts of the city most affected by violence and to decrease the prevalence of the HIV virus among the infant population.