Last Updated August 25, 2021

On August 14, 2021, a 7.2-magnitude earthquake was recorded in Haiti. The USGS estimates that the shaking zone affected more than 2.1 million people. As of August 20, reports indicate 2,207 earthquake-related deaths, 12,268 injuries, and 129,929 houses damaged or destroyed. Many local hospitals are also overwhelmed. We at the MGH Center for Global Health (CGH) extend our thoughts and attention to the people of Haiti and our partners located there.

In 2010, a 7.0-magnitude earthquake struck the country killing over 200,000 people and injuring many others. The country is still recovering from the effects of that earthquake, while also navigating more recent crises such as the COVID-19 pandemic and political instability. Tropical Storm Grace also generated flooding, heavy rains, and strong winds on August 16 and 17, impacting earthquake response efforts.

CGH Executive Director Louise Ivers, MD, MPH, arrived in Haiti on August 18. Once there, she participated in assessments and helped coordinate responses alongside local partners such as Health Equity International, St. Boniface Hospital (HEI/SBH). HEI/SBH’s response efforts include treating injured survivors, delivering medical supplies to affected clinics and hospitals, and beginning preparation for mobile clinics.

On August 24, a Global Disaster Response and Humanitarian Action (GDRHA) team including Lindsey Martin, NP, Director of GDRHA, and Russell Demailly, RN, a MGH operating room nurse, arrived in Haiti to further support HEI/SBH in a clinical capacity.

A second GDRHA team departed on September 7, responding to HEI/SBH’s requests for anesthesia support and continued clinical support in the emergency department. This team included Mary Foley, CRNA, Department of Anesthesia, Critical Care and Pain Medicine, and Kayla Quinn, NP, Orthopaedic Oncology.

Tom Monaghan, a member of MGH Biomedical Engineering, also deployed to help restore oxygen capacity following damage to oxygen systems and helped repair other critical equipment at the hospital. George Dyer, MD, surgeon in the BWH Department of Orthopedic Surgery, who has established a long-term partnership with HEI/SBH, deployed in response to an increased need for orthopedic surgeries.

CGH continues our support of the Ministry of Health’s National Laboratory and Epidemiology Department in their surveillance for disease outbreaks in the region.

We will continue monitoring the situation, assessing and evaluating how we might best act in support of the country and our partners there. We will offer updates as the situation develops.

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