Letter to the Editor in The Boston Globe: Haiti’s Health System Faces Many Challenges

A view of a tent city next to cinder block homes in Port-au-Prince, Haiti in 2011. (Photo Credit: Dominic Chavez)

MSH COO Paul Auxila published a letter to the editor in The Boston Globe on August 30.

Dr. Ralph R. Frerichs gets it right in his op-ed "What the UN must do in Haiti" (Aug. 23). Cholera prevention in Haiti requires a long-term plan to guarantee access to clean water and sanitation, but more is needed to improve the health of Haitian people. As a native of Haiti who has run health projects there with funding from the US Agency for International Development, I have been outraged to watch the cholera outbreak overtake the country even as it has worked to rebuild after the 2010 earthquake. Who could have imagined that a strain of cholera would travel from Nepal to Haiti and kill so many people?

The crisis demonstrates that in an interconnected world, diseases anywhere are a threat everywhere. The challenges facing Haiti's health system are many: limited access to primary care health services, limited availability of essential medicines and supplies in health centers, high cost for services, and lack of trained health professionals.

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