Injuries And Illnesses, The Leading Causes Of Infant Mortality In Haiti

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Man With Child - Haiti Earthquake - January 12, 2010

Haiti has the highest rates of infant mortality under-five and maternal mortality in the Western hemisphere.

Injuries which account for (66%) are by far the most common cause of death in children aged 1 to 5 year. Over 2,000 Haitian children a year are trafficked to the Dominican Republic, often with the consent of their parents. Several thousands are working as messengers, spies and even soldiers for armed gangs and are subject to abuse and death.

Lack of access to basic health-care services is the next leading cause for Haiti high child mortality rate. Illnesses associated with infant mortality in Haiti include Diarrhea, malaria, tuberculosis, respiratory infections and HIV/AIDS.

In 2010, preterm birth rate in Haiti was 14.1%, on of the countries with the highest preterm birth rates, similar to Bangladesh and Liberia. According to a study done by WHO, most neonatal deaths are caused by preterm birth complications.

Newborns are particularly susceptible to certain diseases, much more so than older children and adults because their immune systems are not mature enough to fight off the viruses, bacteria and parasites that cause these infections. In Haiti, most newborn children are left exposed to unsanitary conditions as well as worms and parasites. Diarrhea is a leading cause of child mortality in the developing world. As per 2015 CIA World Factbook, eighty percent of Haitian residents live in poverty. About 32,000 Haitian children live in a pathetic condition in 760 orphanages in Haiti. At least 80% of these children have living parents who want them, but have neither access nor the ability to provide their children's health, education or social services in the community. According to reports of some UNICEF social workers, inadequate diapering is a huge contributor to diarrhea and worm infestations in Haitian babies.

How can Haitian families prevent child mortality?

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