Why Pathfinder Works in Haiti
Years after a catastrophic earthquake struck Haiti, the country continues to face significant challenges to providing its people access to quality health services. The earthquake that struck Haiti in 2010 displaced more than 1.5 million Haitians, making it impossible for most to access quality care. But even before the earthquake and for much of Haiti’s recent history, the country has faced significant challenges in delivering greatly needed health services to its people.
Pre-2010, it was estimated that nearly 40 percent of Haitians lacked access to basic health care. Today, that number is estimated to be even higher. Haiti has the greatest need for health services in all of the Western Hemisphere. The country suffers from high infant and maternal mortality rates as well as a high unmet need for contraception, a key challenge considering Haiti’s growing, young population.
Pathfinder first began work in Haiti in 1998 as the organization leading the charge on a four-year Post Abortion Care and Family Planning Project funded by the Bergstrom Foundation. Pathfinder was successful in lowering maternal mortality rates by establishing integrated post abortion care services and family planning programs in Haiti’s northeast and southern regions. Pathfinder found tremendous success in its development of a community awareness initiative that increased demand for and access to contraception and maternal care services.
Pathfinder was also a key partner in a primary health program in Haiti from 1999-2001, building the capacity of local NGOs to better provide family planning services. Pathfinder also worked through the USAID-funded project to provide training and medical equipment to Haiti’s Ministry of Public Health and Population (MSPP).
In Haiti, only 24 percent of married women ages 15-49 are using a modern contraceptive. More than half of women who want access to contraception don’t have it.
Quality Care for All Haitians
After nearly a decade, Pathfinder is making a big return to Haiti with a three-year USAID-funded project called Services de Santé de Qualité pour Haïti (SSQH) . Through SSQH, Pathfinder expands health services, improves quality of services, and strengthens Haiti’s capacity to deliver and sustain those services long after Pathfinder’s work is complete. Our work in Haiti addresses four key challenges: improving the quality, quantity, equity, and efficiency of health care services. Pathfinder and its partners work in the central and southern regions of Haiti to improve access to and use of a number of services including:
- Family planning
- HIV and AIDS
- Maternal and child health
- Water, sanitation, and hygiene
- And in select areas, support for ending gender-based violence, providing child protection services, and support for critical care
SSQH will achieve this objective through the innovative use of mHealth applications for community level client tracking and a MSPP-approved result based financing scheme to encourage improvement and efficiency of facility-level services. The project will also improve the quality of health services and support sustainability through the promotion of key management practices for health facilities. The reinforcement of USG-supported referral networks will ensure a continuum of care for Haitians connected from community-based providers to clinics and hospitals.
Services de Santé de Qualité pour Haïti (SSQH) is a three-year, USAID-funded project designed to bring quality health services to the southern and central regions of Haiti.