Background and Health Issues - 10 September
In Cuba, the principal hospitals as well as health clinics and
family doctor’s facilities have suffered serious damage and
are unable to function. This is jeopardizing the delivery of health
care to the affected population in a country where 100% of the health
services are public. In addition, the disease surveillance system
and epidemiological control activities have been severely curtailed.
Within this health context, it is paramount to maintain the population
informed on health measures and risk prevention activities. The
project contemplates the procurement and distribution of health
educational materials and emphasizes the importance of maternal
and child health care as well as emergency services.
As an island, Isla de la Juventud presents special challenges for
the delivery of emergency response activities. The general hospital
“Héroes de Baire”, with a capacity of 396 beds,
is severely damaged and not functional. This hospital delivers services
to the population of 87,000. In addition, three primary health care
clinics have also been damaged as well as the main emergency unit,
the unit of epidemiological surveillance, and the municipal warehouse
for medical supplies.
In the province of Pinar del Río, eight municipalities have
been severely affected. These eight municipalities have a population
of 500,000 which represents 49.2% of the total population of the
province. In the municipality of San Cristobal, the hospital “Comandante
Pinares” with a capacity of 440 beds, has been seriously damaged.
This hospital provides medical services to almost 200,000 people
who live in the eastern part of the province. In this area, a health
center has also been totally destroyed and a large number of family
doctor facilities are non- functional, as well as pharmacies, municipal
epidemiological and surveillance centers, laboratories and other
primary health care facilities. These same areas were already affected
by Hurricane Gustav.
September 9. Hurricane Ike is pounding the eastern side
of Cuba, and there is a Hurricane warning throughout the country.
More than four inches of rain has been reported in the East. The
rain will continue through the day in the rest of the country. Hurricane-force
winds are affecting the Provinces of Holguin, Las Tunas and Camaguey.
It is expected the Ciego de Avila, Sancti Spíritus, Villa
Clara, Cienfuegos, and Matanzas will suffer the same fate tomorrow.
Gustav and Hanna
A banana plantation devastated by Hurricane Gustav in
Hurricane Gustav was the strongest storm to hit Cuba in 50 years,
in terms of severity of winds (category 4-5 hurricane) and damage
to agriculture and infrastructure.
Remarkably, there were no reported deaths, thanks to massive evacuation
efforts on the part of national authorities. The latest figures
indicate that 250,000 people were evacuated, including 77,092 in
Havana, 25,000 in Southern Matanzas, and 147,994 in Pinar del Río
province. More than 90,000 houses were damaged.
There has been heavy damage reported to health facilities throughout
the country. Serious floods affected the Isle of Youth, and dialysis
patients had to be evacuated to Havana due to the damage to health
facilities. Medical teams are on standby. PAHO/WHO is in contact
with the Ministry of Health and the U.N. team in the country.
here for the UN Assessment Report from 4 September.
Contributions/pledges to date
to Cuba Appeal
On August 26, the government declared a red alert
for Hurricane Gustav in 19 of its 32 provinces. The province of
Pedernales, on the southern tip of the border with Haiti, was almost
Eight deaths were reported following a mudslide in Santo Domingo.
1,239 homes were damaged and 12 destroyed. 2,6643 were housed in
31 official shelters during the storm.
Significant damage to agriculture sector was reported and the South
West areas of the country was on the alert for flooding from TS
Hanna. Meteorologists predict more rain across much of the country
in the next three weeks.Meteorologists predict more rain across
much of the country in the next three weeks.Meteorologists predict
more rain across much of the country in the next three weeks.
on the disease situation in Haiti
here for a map of the sites affected by Gustav, Hanna and Ike
Hurricane Ike, which passed near Haiti only four days after Hurricane
Hanna and less than two weeks after Hurricane Gustav, worsened the
situation in the country. Communications remain the most import
challenge with roads, bridges damaged or blocked. Some areas can
only be reached by helicopter. It is estimated that up to 800,000
people are in need of humanitarian assistance.
The worse affected area is the city of Gonaives which remains flooded
and approximately 300,000 people are estimated to be in need of
humanitarian assistance. Hundreds of houses have been destroyed.
Authorities had evacuated part of the population (approximately
12,000 people) to shelters in higher ground before the arrival of
the storm. Emergency health care centers were also set up to receive
The hospital at Gonaives is not functioning and health services
are being delivered through those remaining Ministry of Health clinics
and mobile clinics run by NGOs with medical supplies from PAHO (Inter-Agency
Emergency Health Kit -IEHK-for 10,000 sent on 6 September).
Some private hospitals still functioning.
The hospital in Saint Marc (110 beds – source MSF, 2004)
to the south of Gonaives is acting as the regional hospital for
Numerous NGOs and other agencies are preparing assessments and
delivering basic necessities and health services. Daily contact
with all health actors and health response coordination is being
facilitated by PAHO/WHO. Two specialists are being sent to Gonaives
to assist with the assessments.
PAHO/WHO has prepared a list of medical supplies urgently needed
in the field. It includes surgical supplies, broad spectrum antibiotics
and anesthetics. PAHO/WHO has also presented an Epidemiological
Surveillance System to health partners by PAHO for rapid implementation
in the whole country.
Gustav and Hanna
Gustav made landfall on August 26 near the city of Jacamel as a
Category 1 Hurricane. There are ten Emergency Operations Centers
in Haiti at the departmental level. Of these, PAHO/WHO supports
the management and activities of four of these (read more about
how these EOCs were established in 2006). Two of the four (in Les
Cayes and Hinche) remained open round-the clock during Hurricane
Gustav providing information to the central EOC in Port-au-Prince.
Gustav fell in between two other storms, and the flooding in Haiti
was the result of the three almost back-to-back events which included
including Faye (August 16) and Hanna, the most recent event (September
Official tolls (according to DPC--Haiti Civil Defense Protection)
of the impact to date: 79 deaths and according to the Civil Protection
50,000 people are in shelters. These figures are expected to rise
as assessments are still ongoing.
The situation in Gonaives, the hardest hit city in Haiti, is serious,
but assessments continue to be hampered by the bad weather and blocked
roads. Flooding has been reported in nine of the ten departments
in the country. Access to drinking water is a problem.
To date, there are 79 reported deaths in Haiti and more than 1,000
minor injuries have been treated by the various mobile clinics and
health centers that remain open. While presently there is no general
shortage of drugs, many have lost their livelihoods and therefore
have no money with which to purchase medicines. Access to free medications
is only available through NGOs and aid agencies.
The hospital in St Marc (a small hospital on the coast, south of
Gonaives) is functioning as the regional referral hospital for the
department of Artibonite, as the hospital in Gonaives is unusable
because of the floods. In fact, virtually the entire health system
in the Department is not functioning, as most health centers have
also been severely affected. Those few that are still functioning
are being supplied with medicines by PAHO/WHO. In Gonaives, 18 patients
had to be evacuated from the flooded hospital; all stocks were destroyed.
Mobile clinics have been set in operation serving the area between
Gonaives and Port-au- Paix.
PAHO/WHO is in daily contact with all health actors in Haiti and
has facilitated logistical aspects of some of the field assessment
missions. PAHO has also maintained stocks of medical kits and has
pre-positioned medical and surgical supplies in the northwest Departments.
Health Cluster in Haiti
Nations Consolidated Flash Appeal for Haiti
Appeal for International Aid for Haiti
Contributions/pledges to date
to Haiti Appeal
1 Inter-Agency Emergency Health Kit
||1 Inter-Agency Emergency Health Kit
vulnerability to disasters
pictures from Haiti
passing Haiti, Hurricane Gustav hit Jamaica with 70 mph winds. Emergency
Operations Centers were activated at national, regional and parish
level, and 37 Shelters were prepared in the Eastern parishes of
St. Anne, St. Thomas and Portland. On August 30, more than 800 people
were reported to be in shelters. There have been 12 confirmed deaths.
Approximately 72 communities have been affected, particularly from
flash floods and storm surges.
The Victoria Jubilee Hospital, Bellevue Hospital and
Port Antonio Hospital reported damage from the winds and rain. Currently,
recovery activities are underway. All health systems are functioning,
although two hospitals remain without electricity.
Flooding continues to be a major problem, and the
water supply affected. PAHO/WHO deployed an LSS/SUMA and a Disaster
Specialist to Jamaica.
Location: Gordon Town, St. Andrew
Source: Shanti Persad, Jamaica Bauxite Institute.
9 September - Hurricane Ike impacted Turks and Caicos
as a Category 4 Hurricane over the weekend, with winds of up to
135 mph. Initial reports indicate that there is extensive flooding
across the Islands. The only hospital in Grand Turk (pop. 6,000)
suffered significant damage, and 13 geriatric patients had to be
moved to a differente wing of the hospital.
More than 90% of the houses in Grand Turk have sustained damages
(50% severe damage). Electricity and telephone services have been
restored. In Providenciales Island (pop. 30,442), the public water
supply has been affected. There are no reports of deaths, missing
or injuries as of yet.
Hurricane Hanna caused heavy flooding in the five islands. No deaths
have been reported; however 800 people had to move to shelters.
The Ministry of Health requested PAHO/WHO that a water and sanitation
expert be mobilized.
Appeal for International Aid for Turks and Caicos
Contributions/pledges to date
Turks and Caicos Appeal
The damaged hospital in Grand Turk after Hurricane Ike.