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Haiti: Mobilising physiotherapists to care for the injured

Emergency
Haiti

Just days after an earthquake hit Haiti, Humanity & Inclusion (HI) is providing assistance in hospitals in one of the country’s worst affected region. A team of physiotherapists will begin work this week.

Treating a patient in Les Cayes rehabilitation centre run by one of HI’s partner organisations

Treating a patient in Les Cayes rehabilitation centre run by one of HI’s partner organisations | © Rawley Crews / HI

More than 2,200 people were killed and 12,000 injured in the violent earthquake that hit the region of Les Cayes in Haiti on 14 August. Since the injured are still arriving in hospitals, casualty figures continue to rise.

HI trains physiotherapists to emergency rehabilitation

Injuries that have sometimes not been treated due to the absence of health services in isolated areas require special care. With FONTEN center, HI has recruited and trained seven physiotherapists to provide assistance to these casualties.

“What we do is to prepare them for rehabilitation care in an emergency situation, which is different from normal rehabilitation,” explains Virginie, a rehabilitation manager with HI’s emergency team.
More than one hundred patients arrive in hospitals every day. Normally people go to hospital when they’re injured, get treated, and then hope their injuries heal properly.

But emergency rehabilitation has to start on day one to prevent potential long-term consequences and disabilities.

The aim is for these physiotherapists to build the capacities of hospitals and rehabilitation centres, of course, but we also want to make sure we work with staff who are aware of these risks and able to explain to patients the next appropriate steps to take.”

Additionnal equipment

HI is also transporting rehabilitation equipment from Port-au-Prince to provide walking aids, in particular, to earthquake casualties.

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