People of Haiti: We remember your struggle. We applaud your success. We reaffirm our commitment to work, shoulder to shoulder, to support your efforts to improve health … This year marks the 5th anniversary of the catastrophic earthquake (January 12, 2010) that devastated Haiti’s already-fragile health system.
On July 4, 2013, 26-year-old Elina Jean-Baptiste of Cazale, Haiti began experiencing painful contractions as she prepared to deliver her child. Realizing she was going into labor, Elina walked to the Cazale health center and with the help of trained nurses and a doctor, delivered a healthy baby girl named Dadeline. “The labor and delivery were very painful, but as soon as I arrived at Cazale, I knew I was in good hands,” she said.
In recent years, Haiti has endured some of the greatest misfortunes in its history, including hurricanes, floods, the devastating 2010 earthquake, and the cholera epidemic that followed. These natural disasters and public health crises have added to the harm already caused by the country’s widespread poverty, social and political unrest, and under-resourced health system.
It was 11 o’clock one February morning when the Santé pour le Développement et la Stabilité d’Haiti (SDSH) project technical team arrived on site at St. Joseph Health Center.The center’s activities were well underway. Dozens of people sat on benches or stood in line, waiting for their turn. One person comes to care for her child who has had a high fever. Another comes for contraception. Another just gave birth to a healthy infant.St.