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.
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.
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.
Today, with funding from USAID, Pathfinder works alongside Haiti’s Ministry of Public Health and Population to bring quality health services to the southern and central regions of Haiti.
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.
Evidence to Action for Strengthened Family Planning and Reproductive Health Services for Women and Girls (E2A)
The Evidence to Action Project (E2A) is USAID’s global flagship for strengthening family planning and reproductive health service delivery.
We believe change starts with expertly trained providers and pharmacies that never run out of supplies. It starts with open conversations among women, young people, men, religious leaders, mothers-in-law, policymakers, and others, joining to discuss their beliefs and remove barriers to their health and well-being. Our 2014 Annual Report shows a few highlights of how Pathfinder has served as a catalyst for change over the past year.
It was a matter of life and death for Jenelia, who lives in a remote mountain village in Haiti, the most dangerous place to give birth in the Western Hemisphere. This issue of Pathways explores how mobile technology is changing the way community health workers are delivering health services to women like Jenelia.
Pathfinder's Services de Santé de Qualité pour Haiti project, in collaboration with the Haitian government and MSPP, integrates the use of mobile tools for health - it incorporates the use of mSanté activities and finance tools to improve the delivery of quality health services for the people of Haiti.
"Not everyone has the money for health care, but these people know that now there is someone looking after them and it gives comfort,” says Orvillus. “Plus, I’m so pleased to have this [the handheld device] because it improves the quality of the services I can bring.”