The second stage of Haiti’s medical emergency has begun, with diarrheal illnesses, acute respiratory infections and malnutrition beginning to claim lives by the dozen. CBSnews.com covers more of this story:
Fourteen-month-old Abigail Charlot survived Haiti’s cataclysmic earthquake but not its miserable aftermath. Brought into the capital’s General Hospital with fever and diarrhea, little Abigail literally dried up.
“Sometimes they arrive too late,” said Dr. Adrien Colimon, the chief of pediatrics, shaking her head.
And while the half-million people jammed into germ-breeding makeshift camps have so far been spared a contagious-disease outbreak, health officials fear epidemics. They are rushing to vaccinate 530,000 children against measles, diphtheria, tetanus and whooping cough.
“It’s still tough,” said Chris Lewis, emergency health co-ordinator for Save the Children, which by Tuesday had treated 11,000 people at 14 mobile clinics in Port-au-Prince, Jacmel and Leogane. “At the moment we’re providing lifesaving services. What we’d like to do is to move to provide quality, longer-term care, but we’re not there yet.”
Haiti’s government raised the death toll for the Jan. 12 earthquake to 230,000 on Tuesday – the same death toll as the 2004 Asian tsunami. Communications Minister Marie-Laurence Jocelyn Lassegue said she expects the toll to rise as more bodies are counted, and noted the number does not include bodies buried privately by funeral homes or families.