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Revista Panamericana de Salud Pública

On-line version ISSN 1680-5348Print version ISSN 1020-4989


DZWONCZYK, Roger  and  RIHA, Chris. Medical equipment donations in Haiti: flaws in the donation process. Rev Panam Salud Publica [online]. 2012, vol.31, n.4, pp.345-348. ISSN 1680-5348.

The magnitude 7.0 earthquake that struck Haiti on 12 January 2010 devastated the capital city of Port-au-Prince and the surrounding area. The area's hospitals suffered major structural damage and material losses. Project HOPE sought to rebuild the medical equipment and clinical engineering capacity of the country. A team of clinical engineers from the United States of America and Haiti conducted an inventory and assessment of medical equipment at seven public hospitals affected by the earthquake. The team found that only 28% of the equipment was working properly and in use for patient care; another 28% was working, but lay idle for technical reasons; 30% was not working, but repairable; and 14% was beyond repair. The proportion of equipment in each condition category was similar regardless of whether the equipment was present prior to the earthquake or was donated afterwards. This assessment points out the flaws that existed in the medical equipment donation process and reemphasizes the importance of the factors, as delineated by the World Health Organization more than a decade ago, that constitute a complete medical equipment donation.

Keywords : Equipment and supplies, hospital; equipment and supplies, disasters; Haiti.

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