The greatest number of deaths and injuries from Haiti’s August 14 earthquake occurred in the country’s southernmost region, the Sud department. Prior to this disaster, hospitals and clinics were already scarce in remote areas of Sud, and the earthquake damaged or destroyed many health facilities and roadways, making it difficult for earthquake survivors in rural areas to reach care quickly.
At Hôpital Immaculée Conception (HIC) in Les Cayes, the capital of the Sud department, an MSF medical team is providing surgical and post-operative care to more than 90 patients through a collaboration with the ministry of health.
“My team arrived in Les Cayes on August 23,” recalls Prunau Mimose, a nurse supervisor with MSF’s emergency medical team. “The hospital was overwhelmed. Children and adults were together. People were arriving at the hospital after several days with infected wounds.”
MSF began providing surgical, post-operative and psychosocial care at the hospital and installed seven tents with a total of 62 additional patient beds. The hospital’s post-operative care room, where Prunau Mimose works, has been full almost continuously since the earthquake. As soon as a patient leaves a bed, another patient arrives.
Mimose manages the nursing activity and the coming and going of patients. She praises the local volunteers who have stepped up to work in the hospital as well as the staff. “If it weren’t for the volunteers, our job would be harder,” she says. “They’re great people—they work nonstop.”