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Fast Facts on the U.S. Government's Work in Haiti: Global Health


Fact Sheet
Office of the Haiti Special Coordinator
July 19, 2013

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The Challenge

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. Haiti’s chronic malnutrition indicators ranked among the worst in the Latin American and Caribbean region, with 32 percent of children malnourished; and Haiti’s 2.2 percent HIV/AIDS prevalence was the second highest in the region. 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.

U.S. Government Strategy

Prior to the devastating earthquake, the U.S Government, through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC), 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, family planning, more sophisticated immunization services, the prevention and treatment of tuberculosis and neglected tropical diseases, 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 providing increased financial support.

Accomplishments

  • Supporting nearly 300 healthcare sites nationwide, providing access to healthcare to nearly 50 percent of the Haitian population.
  • Supported a national measles, rubella, and polio immunization campaign that reached over 90 percent coverage. 
  • Added Pentavalent—a combination of five vaccines in one, including: diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough, hepatitis B, and haemophilus influenza type b (the bacteria that causes meningitis, pneumonia, and otitis)—to the routine immunizations available in Haiti in April 2012.
  • Supported a major reform of the Global Fund to Fight HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria’s Country Coordinating Mechanism to advance towards the goal of universal coverage of antiretroviral drugs for all eligible patients by the end of 2013.
  • Supported St. Boniface Spinal Cord Injury Center, which has treated 62 spinal cord injury patients, to achieve international standards of quality of care.
  • Expanded disability care through four programs focused on rehabilitating and reintegrating persons with disabilities into society while building the capacity of governmental and non-governmental institutions to effectively support them in a sustainable manner.
  • Administered the medication needed to prevent lymphatic filariasis to 2.2 million Haitians living in Port-au-Prince for the first time.
  • Initiated renovation and reconstruction of the University Hospital; opened the renovated emergency room in late 2012 and the renovated maternity ward in the spring of 2013.
  • Renovated health facilities in Cap Haitian, Quartier Morin, Caracol, Ouanaminthe, St. Marc, Cabaret, and Martissant.
  • Initiated design work on the National Campus of Health Sciences and the National Blood Bank which were destroyed in the earthquake.
  • Socially marketed water treatment tablets, oral rehydration salts, condoms, and other contraceptives, which are now available in 6,000 sales points nationwide.
  • Contributed to improvements in key health indicators, based on the latest Demographic and Health Surveys:
    • Fifty percent decrease in prevalence of underweight children under five years of age,
    • Decreased prevalence of stunted children under five years of age, and
    • Decreased prevalence of wasted children under five years of age.



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