Even before the January 2010 earthquake, 40 percent of the Haitian population had no access to basic health services, the infant mortality rate in Haiti was the highest in the Americas, and tuberculosis rates were the highest in the Western Hemisphere. Chronic malnutrition was widespread, with 32 percent of children malnourished; and HIV/AIDS prevalence was 2.2 percent. The earthquake devastated much of Haiti’s health infrastructure, destroying and damaging many clinics and hospitals, disabling thousands of people, and initially displacing 1.5 million to camps, with elevated risks of communicable diseases. A cholera outbreak, which started in October 2010, added additional strain to this already overburdened system.
Prior to the devastating earthquake, the U.S Government provided access to health services for approximately 50 percent of the people of Haiti. After the earthquake, the U.S. Government moved quickly to address new health needs such as disability care and infectious disease outbreaks while continuing to provide a basic package of health services, including maternal and child health and more sophisticated immunization, lymphatic filariasis, and HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment services. The U.S. Government is also making progress on rebuilding key health infrastructure that was destroyed. In June 2012, the U.S. Government and the Government of Haiti signed a five year Health Partnership Framework that aims to advance the Government of Haiti’s ownership and oversight of an adaptable and self-correcting public health system in Haiti, while also aiming to reduce its dependence on donor support over time. At the end of the five year period, it is expected that the Government of Haiti will have made significant strides toward assuming primary responsibility for the management and performance monitoring of the overall health system, as well as increasing its financial support.
Continued to support 251 primary care and 52 secondary care sites nationwide, providing access to healthcare to nearly 50 percent of the Haitian population and reducing the hospitalized cholera case fatality rate below the international standard of 1 percent. We supported a national measles, rubella, and polio immunization campaign that reached over 90 percent coverage. In April 2012, Pentavalent vaccine was also added to the routine immunizations available in Haiti.
Increased the number of eligible patients on anti-retroviral (ARV) treatment from 60 percent in March 2012 to 65 percent in June 2012. We are working with the Global Fund to Fight HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria to reach universal coverage of ARVs for all eligible patients by June 2015, and supported a major reform of the Country Coordinating Mechanism.
Supported St. Boniface Spinal Cord Injury Center to function according to international standards of quality of care. Since the earthquake, St. Boniface has treated 62 spinal cord injury patients. Thirteen still live at the hospital while 49 have already been successfully discharged back into their communities where their families have been trained to care for them. We are expanding disability care through four programs to rehabilitate and reintegrate persons with disabilities into society while building the capacity of governmental and non-governmental institutions to sustainably and effectively support them.
For the first time, 2.2 million Haitians living in Port-au-Prince were administered the medication needed to prevent lymphatic filariasis, supported by the U.S. Government. Mass drug administration to prevent lymphatic filariasis has been underway everywhere in Haiti except Port-au-Prince for the last several years. With this final piece in the puzzle, Haiti is on the way to eliminating lymphatic filariasis from the country.
The U.S. Government has initiated renovation and reconstruction of the University Hospital (HUEH). The renovated emergency room opened in October 2012, ensuring that Port-au-Prince’s poorest inhabitants have a place to seek critical treatment. The U.S. Government has renovated additional centers in Cap Haitian, Quartier Morin, Caracol, Ouanaminthe, St. Marc, Cabaret, and Martissant. The U.S. Government has also initiated design work on the National Campus of Health Sciences and the National Blood Bank.