Public Health

After the 7.0 magnitude earthquake that struck Haiti on January 12, 2010 many of the countries hospitals and clinics were destroyed leaving the population with nowhere to turn for healthcare. The absence of infrastructure compromises healthcare facilities, and 60% of the population lacks access to basic health care services. There have also been significant water and sanitation problems. As of 2009, 45% of the population lacked access to safe water and 83% did not have access to proper sanitation.

 
The public infrastructure in Haiti is negligible. Without it, sick people face many barriers to care, and healthy people have little access to preventative medicine. Public health indicators demonstrate how this directly affects women of reproductive age and children under the age of five.
 
As a way to determine the public health and nutrition needs of the communities that we seek to serve the Haitian American Caucus-Haiti conducted a 53-questions public health needs assessment survey, five women from a local women’s empowerment group conducted the surveys with over 300 women in the community. The survey included basic demographic questions as well as more specific questions on sanitation, access to medical care, maternal and reproductive health, nutrition and food consumption, and gender based violence. The Haitian America Caucus-Haiti’s Public Health Program will begin facilitating community health trainings in schools and rural communities, focused on addressing the issues we’ve identified in our surveys including trainings around clean water and sanitation, maternal health, gender based violence, nutrition, and prevention of mosquito spread and communicable diseases through working with local trainers, experts, and volunteers.