Dramatic Improvement in Health Services in Haiti
MSH’s development of a public-private partnership in Haiti has led to “dramatic improvements in health indicators,” as David Adams reported in the Miami Herald. These improvements include increases in immunizations, delivery by skilled birth attendants, and use of modern methods of family planning.
Improvements in Health Services in Haiti 2004–07
Management Sciences for Health, which has been a partner of the Ministry of Public Health and Population in Haiti since 1995, has managed a series of successful projects funded by the US Agency for International Development (USAID). The Haiti Health System (HS-2007) Project delivered health services to 4.5 million people through both the public and private sectors. The starting points and rates of progress differed in the public and NGO sectors because of the political crises of this period. Government services were underfunded, but assistance to the public sector gradually increased, and HS-2007 helped expand access to health care and improve the management and quality of services in 30 target zones. Immunization of infants tripled, deliveries attended by qualified personnel nearly quadrupled, and the use of modern contraceptives began to take off. In an external evaluation of HS-2007, evaluators noted: “Despite fragile government, weak infrastructure, security problems, and natural disasters, innovative and flexible implementation efforts continued to provide essential health services and deliver results.” MSH also worked through a network of 27 service delivery NGOs. With the incentive of performance-based financing, these organizations made progress in making essential health care more accessible. For example, the 93 percent rate of infant immunization exceeds the international target of 90 percent. In addition, HS-2007 was a leading partner in the rapid expansion of HIV & AIDS services, with funding from the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). The achievement of PEPFAR goals was facilitated through a departmental strategy that improved the integration of HIV & AIDS services with other health services. The MSH Santé pour le Développement et la Stabilité d’Haïti Project—Pwojè Djanm (“robust project”) in Creole—also funded by USAID, continues to contribute to better health for more than 4 million Haitians. An all-Haitian team is working to increase the availability of social services, reduce internal conflict, nurture livelihoods that contribute to Haiti’s economic development, and build capacity as the foundation for progress.