The January 2010 earthquake in Haiti raised global attention to one of the poorest and most under-resourced nations in the world. Although the media coverage of the nation has significantly decreased, significant health challenges remain (most of which existed before the earthquake). One of the major challenges limiting targeted interventions is the lack of health-related databases and documentation. In fact, only approximately 10% of deaths are officially recorded.
Led by the Surgery Department of the Université d’État d’Haïti (UEH) in Port-au-Prince, a pilot project has been introduced in the emergency department of the Hôpital de l’Université d’État d’Haïti (HUEH), the largest referral center in the country. This pilot is assessing the feasibility of implementing a trauma registry to better describe trauma epidemiology in the region. HUEH’s chief surgical resident is spearheading the project as part of his research activities and the goal is to obtain actionable targets for quality improvement initiatives.
Concurrently, a unique academic exchange program is under way between UEH and the Division of Trauma Surgery of McGill University. UEH has hosted a number of McGill medical students and surgical residents for combined research and clinical rotations. Recently, McGill has also hosted Haitian surgical residents on trauma electives and plans are in place to implement this rotation into the curriculum of all general surgery residents of the UEH.
Deckelbaum DL. The Haiti earthquake: a personal perspective. CMAJ 2010;23:241-242