Death toll in Haiti may reach 200 000

BMJ 2010; 340 doi: (Published 18 January 2010) Cite this as: BMJ 2010;340:c331
  1. John Zarocostas
  1. 1Geneva

    Medical personnel are among the most pressing needs on the impoverished island of Haiti, aid officials have said, amid reports of massive human suffering and hospitals overwhelmed by the large influx of victims from the devastating earthquake last week (BMJ 2010;340:c266, 15 Jan, doi:10.1136/bmj.c266).

    “We urgently need medical supplies and, even more, emergency medical personnel,” the United Nations chief, Ban Ki-moon, told reporters.

    The main priorities are to treat surgical and orthopaedic emergencies and traumatic injuries, prevent wound infections, and ensure the delivery of emergency obstetric and neonatal care, the World Health Organization said.

    At least eight hospitals and other healthcare facilities were damaged or destroyed by the earthquake, and those that remain functional are crowded with patients, forcing many people to be treated in makeshift facilities, WHO said.

    The International Committee of the Red Cross said that tens of thousands of people are now living in the streets of the capital, Port-au-Prince. …

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