Haiti, January 2013:
Successful programs aimed at improving access to emergency health care must be grounded in local knowledge of the local healthcare landscape. To this aim, EMEDEX completed an important assessment of emergency care services and capabilities in the Northeast region in October of 2012. The three public hospitals of the Ministry of Health, as well as five health care centers of the Northeast region were included in the assessment. From this study, several important findings were elucidated. Although all the hospitals had generators and running water, none had potable water. No CT scanners exist in the region. Important emergency equipment is not available to providers in the emergency rooms at several of the facilities. Communication between hospitals is limited and no organized inter-hospital referral network exists.
These gaps in equipment and services reflect important needs that EMEDEX can address in its collaboration with local partners and will serve to guide our future work in the region. EMEDEX plans to continue its development of a prehospital first responder network, upon which foundation a formal ambulance system can evolve. EMEDEX also is actively working with the Ministry of Health to fortify the capacity of the regional hospitals to handle emergencies through the improvement of data collection systems and training for healthcare providers.
To see the full report, visit our published article in the journal Prehospital and Disaster Medicine at http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayAbstract?fromPage=online&aid=9293928&fulltextType=RA&fileId=S1049023X14000430.