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Haiti: HI trains physical therapists in Emergency Rehabilitation to respond to earthquake

Emergency Rehabilitation

The Humanity & Inclusion (HI) emergency response team has begun the training process for new physical therapist recruits who will be reinforcing local hospitals and a rehabilitation center in Les Cayes, Haiti.

HI specialist Virginie Duclos trains 6 physical therapists to take in charge people injured by the 14 August earthquake

HI specialist Virginie Duclos trains 6 physical therapists to take in charge people injured by the 14 August earthquake | © R. Crews / HI

This week, Humanity & Inclusion (HI) began training 7 physical therapists and one PT assistant in emergency rehabilitation to provide reinforcement support in local hospitals and rehabilitation center in Les Cayes (Haiti).

The newly recruited physical therapists have already received all of the appropriate training to respond to rehabilitation needs in normal times, most of which have received training by HI in the past. In response to the earthquake that struck southern Haiti on August 14th, the sessions will focus on working in an emergency context. And will continue throughout the week as the physical therapists simultaneously treat injured patients in local medical facilities.


The training objectives include:

  • Implementing a functional approach and reinforcing functional capacity of the facilities
  • Identifying, using and adjusting technical and mobility aids according to their availability and application
  • Prioritizing urgent care in an emergency context and identifying red flags to prevent harm and complications
  • Implementing best practices and sharing expertise
  • Practicing psychological first aid for patients in need of immediate mental health support

At the end of the training, participants will be able to quickly identify and care for at-risk patients, while preventing complications or any long-term damage, and ensuring that patients are made aware of the appropriate next steps in their healing process.

These concepts are set in place via theoretical discussion, case studies and interactive activities alongside the daily work of reinforcing medical teams in three different facilities. In the beginning, the team will be overseen by HI’s emergency rehabilitation specialists, in the hopes that the physical therapists will soon be autonomous in their emergency response to develop long-term rehabilitation support to the community.

Date published: 08/26/21


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