Haiti: Then came Matthew

Anna Blideman is on her first mission as a nurse for MSF. She's working at a maternity clinic in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, that takes care of women with pregnancy complications. She blogs about the devastating moment Hurricane Matthew hit.

We prepared ourselves without really knowing what to prepare ourselves for.

At home we prepared the windows to protect them from blowing in, and stocked up on food in case we couldn't get out for a few days.

At the hospital we planned options for staff who would not be able to get to or from work, and considered what we would do if the hospital flooded, or the ceiling collapsed.

Fortunately we were in Port-au-Prince, which was not affected as badly as the south-west of the island.

It was mostly very stormy and rainy. 

Photo of Hurricane Matthew's destruction in Haiti

Hurricane Matthew's destruction. Photo: Andrew McConnell / Panos Pictures

The consequences will be devastating for many years to come

Because of the weather, we saw a huge rise in the number of women at the maternity clinic.

Normally we only accept complex or urgent cases, but these women could not get anywhere else, so we took them in.

Even now, weeks later, the clinic is completely full.

Outside the hospital there is a tent where mothers, who are unable to go home, live while their children receive treatment at the hosptial. Photo: Anna Bildeman / MSF.

We cannot discharge the patients at the same rate as they come in. But it's obviously a small problem compared to what's going on elsewhere in the country. Large parts of Haiti have been enormously affected by the hurricane and many of the employees at the hospital have family and friends that they are still not able to contact.

It feels unfair to Haiti once again, to be hit so hard, when the country is still trying to recover from the earthquake of 2010.

Again, the consequences will be devastating for many years to come.

This blog first appeared on the MSF Sweden site. You can read it in the original Swedish here.