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Haiti

41,421

new cases of cholera were reported, including 369 deaths

22%

of children under the age of 5 suffer from chronic malnutrition

80%

of births take place outside the health system

The situation

A persistent epidemic

Cholera has been raging in Haiti since October 2010. Although the epidemic has been partly contained since then, this disease still remains a major public health concern in the country. Doctors of the World has been working to eradicate cholera in Haiti since the beginning of the epidemic. We currently cover six of the country’s 10 departments, handling approximately 40% of suspected cholera cases each year. Strong outbreaks affect the population regularly, especially during rainy season, and most often in the most remote areas. The disease, if not managed within a few hours of the onset of symptoms, can lead to rapid death. What makes it even more difficult for health centres to provide care is a lack of medical personnel, equipment and drugs.

 

Chronic malnutrition

Acute malnutrition is a public health crisis in Haiti. It is mainly caused by a massively unstable food supply, which worsens in times of drought. Malnutrition affects three million of the 10 million people living in this country. Thousands of malnourished families have little to no access to medical care. Recent data shows that it is even more serious among young children. A multitude of factors can lead to malnutrition, including poverty, lack of education and misconceptions surrounding the feeding of children and babies. They also have limited access to food, no access to quality healthcare, and poor or inadequate hygiene practices.

 

Women and children in danger

Haiti is among the countries with the highest maternal mortality rates in the developing world. The geographical distance from medical help is one of the main causes: it takes an average of three hours for women to reach a health centre. The high cost of care and the weight of tradition is another important limitation to accessing care. In addition, the population, and adolescents in particular, have little to no awareness of sexual and reproductive health issues. The quality of care, lack of public services, and dysfunctions in the current system make the situation difficult to improve.

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Our action

Support the fight against cholera

Doctors of the World has been fighting cholera in Haiti since the beginning of the epidemic in 2010. Today, we are the main organization supporting the government and health organizations in finding solutions to contain cholera outbreaks and prevent the disease altogether. We have implemented a cholera control program to better manage outbreaks and reduce the fatality rate to less than 1%. We do so by supporting the health centres, hospitals and communities within six departments. Teams are deployed to provide companionship-type training in health centers and in case of outbreaks.

 

Improve sexual and reproductive health and the health of mothers, newborns and children

Doctors of the World has been working in Haiti to improve people’s sexual and reproductive health since 1998. Despite making significant strides over the years, significant challenges still remain. With the support of the Governments of Canada, Quebec, Belgium and our many donors, Doctors of the World is launching a new program in 2017 to reduce the maternal and child mortality rate in four (Nord-Ouest, Artibonite, Ouest and Nippes) of the 10 departments of Haiti. This program will benefit more than 230,000 people over the next three years.

The communities in which we operate have been chosen because of their economic, social and geographic isolation and their difficult access to medical care and prevention programs. They also do not have the support of other partners, unlike other municipalities in these departments. They are among the most neglected communities, with some of the most alarming health indicators.

Our Impact

In 2015:
  • 7,246
    SUSPECTED CHOLERA CASES WERE TREATED
  • 126,739
    PEOPLE WERE TAUGHT HOW TO PREVENT WATER-BORNE DISEASES AND RECOGNIZE THE SIGNS OF CHOLERA
  • 111
    SCHOOLS IN THE CITÉ SOLEIL COMMUNE RECEIVED TRAINING ON THE PREVENTION OF WATER-BORNE DISEASES
  • 165
    CARE PROVIDERS WERE EDUCATED ON HOW TO TREAT CHOLERA

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