Haiti Observer Blog
According to reports of some UNICEF social workers, inadequate diapering is a huge contributor to diarrhea and worm infestations in Haitian babies. An entrepreneur is coming up with an idea to decrease Infant Mortality Rate in Haiti.
Jake's Diapers, Inc. is a 501(c) 3, non-profit ministry whose mission is to provide cloth diapers to babies, children, and adults in extreme poverty, especially in countries like Haiti. About six years ago, Stephanie Bowers, the Executive Director of Jake's Diapers once visited an orphanage in Pachacutec, Peru. There she saw that the caregivers, although their love for the babies was beyond doubt, were forced to reuse disposable diapers. They were doing their best with their only available option and that was a forced pick between diaper and food. This unthinkable choice happens every day for many rural Haitian families.
Many infant mortality in Haiti are caused by diarrhea that can lead to dehydration, vomiting and fever. Often, these are the symptom of a virus called: Rotavirus.
Rotavirus infections spread easily in settings where many children are together. It is obtained through contact with the stool from an infected child. It is estimated that rotavirus disease is taking the lives of close to 2,500 Haitian children every year.
Due to its high contagious rate, just an improvement in drinking water, sanitation or hygiene would not solve the problem. Vaccination has been determined to be the best method to stop the spread of rotavirus.
Thousands of women and newborns continue to die each year during pregnancy and childbirth or after. The vast majority of these deaths could have been prevented with proper prenatal and delivery care.
Skilled birth attendants such as a midwife, doctor or nurse, who have been trained to manage uncomplicated pregnancies, deliveries and the immediate postnatal period could be the solution. They could also be trained to identify complications and obtain timely emergency assistance.
Unfortunately, skilled midwives are in short supply and Haiti never had enough midwives to meet the needs of the population. Hundreds of thousands of women and newborns continue to die each year during pregnancy and postnatal period.
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.
While the primary reason for maternal mortality Caribbean is hemorrhage(23%), followed by hypertension(22%), in Haiti it is different. The main cause of maternal death in Haiti is preeclamsia/eclampsia at an alarming rate of (37.5%), followed by hemorrhage at (22%).
Preeclampsia/ eclampsia are the development or worsening of high blood pressure during pregnancy. The symptoms of preeclampsia are seizures. This condition can develop any time from 20 weeks into the pregnancy until weeks after delivery.
Often, as blood pressure continues to climb higher, this may cause the placenta to separate from the wall of the uterus, causing severe bleeding and even death of the fetus and possibly the mother.
We are aware that infant mortality in Haiti is at an alarming rate, the highest in the Caribbean. Maternal Mortality is yet another problem that the country must deal wit more effectively.
The maternal mortality ratio in Haiti in 2013 was 380 per 100,000 live births which was evaluated at more than 1000 maternal deaths. This was an official number. Considering how difficult it is to come up with real numbers, the actual rate of maternal death could be much more. Again this ratio is much higher in Haiti than in other regions in the Caribbean
Haiti is once again leading the region. The country has been ranked poorly for lacking in the care provided to its newly born children. Haiti has been classified as having the highest rates of infant, under-five and maternal mortality in the Western hemisphere.
The Haiti child mortality rate was at a level of 69 deaths per 1,000 live births in 2015. It came down from 71 deaths per 1,000 live births of 2014. In 2005, the same rate was 90. This rate is often used as an indicator in rating a country's overall health. Overall, the infant mortality rate of the world is 42.09 according to CIA World Factbook.
Hôpital Sacré Coeur (HSC), a beacon of hope for the 250,000 people of Northern Haiti, is the largest private hospital in the North of Haiti. Located in the town of Milot, Haiti, the present day 200-bed hospital has been providing uninterrupted service for almost 30 years. The hospital started with Dr. Theodore Dubuque, Jr. when he visited Milot in 1986 from St. Louis to assess whether it was feasible to perform surgery at the 6-bed clinic with one physician and a single operating room. Till today, Dr. Theodore Dubuque, Jr. has made over 50 trips to Haiti to start and run this largest hospital in Haiti with financial support. Dubuque is the founder and past president of the CRUDEM Foundation, which supports Hôpital Sacré Coeur in Milot.
On August 19, 2016, the former UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon announced a new approach by the United Nations to cholera in Haiti. In his statement, he indicated that the UN deeply regrets the terrible suffering the people of Haiti have endured as a result of the cholera epidemic and that the United Nations has a commitment and moral responsibility to the victims of the cholera epidemic and to support Haiti in overcoming the epidemic.
The United Nation's new approach is intended to intensify efforts to eliminate cholera from Haiti and assist and support those most directly affected. The approach consists two tracks.
European Investment Bank (EIB) To Finance Projects in Haiti
On Monday, May 24, 2017, Pim van Ballekom, the Vice-President of the European Investment Bank (EIB) along with a team of delegation, visited the EIB-funded hospital in Tabarre during a tour aiming the exploration of project opportunities in Haiti. After the 2010 earthquake, EIB provided a grant of €600,000 (HTG 45 million) to build this modular trauma surgery hospital run by Médecins Sans Frontières in Tabarre. The staff of EIB also donated €51,357 for this hospital. In Haiti, EIB has granted a total of €16 million (HTG 1.2 billion) support to SME projects (small and medium-sized enterprises).
On his first visit to the country, Vice President Pim van Ballekom and his team discussed funding opportunities with the Haitian authorities, including Haiti President Jovenel Moïse, Central Bank Governor Jean Baden Dubois, and ministers of the government with the objective of granting loans for future projects.
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