MSH Assists Ministry of Health in Haiti by Assessing Health Facilities and Mobilizing Community Health Workers after Quake
MSH’s SDSH project (Santé pour le Développement et la Stabilité d’Haïti—Pwojé Djanm), funded by the United States Agency for International AID (USAID), recently conducted an initial assessment of health facilities in Port-au-Prince. As a result, community-based agents are mobilized and local partners working with SDSH are again providing services to support child health, reproductive health, and the treatment and prevention of infectious diseases, primarily HIV and tuberculosis, in 11 areas in the Port-au-Prince vicinity. The assessment in Port-au-Prince was part of a larger assessment that SDSH undertook of the more than 60 partners who have been working with the project and 147-project supported health sites across the country.
Working closely with Haiti’s Ministry of Health, USAID/Haiti, and local nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), SDSH assessed needs of partners and health sites in terms of infrastructure, human resources, essential drugs, equipment, and material.
When the earthquake hit, SDSH was supporting the delivery of health care services to 43 percent of the population. As part of SDSH's aim to decentralize the delivery of health care services in Haiti, working together with Haiti's Ministry of Health the project established a network of local partners—community-based organizations, commercial businesses, and government agencies—to deliver health care in every province in Haiti. Since more than a half a million people in Haiti have moved since the quake, mostly to the provinces, many of these partners are needing to increase their capacity in order to meet the larger needs of the communities they serve.
In the past month, SDSH has also:
- Mobilized 70 health agents to rapidly develop an emergency plan with the Episcopal Church-Ste Croix to provide primary health care at the community level in the commune of Leogane. Activities were implemented in coordination with Save the Children and other local NGOs.
- Mobilized SDSH community health agents in Bel Air and St Martin to triage the immediate health needs of survivors as a result of the earthquake and will continue to offer primary care services as survivors establish semi-permanent shelters, i.e., “tent cities,” since health centers in those areas are damaged.
- Coordinated with the Ministry of Public Health to disinfect areas in the hard-hit zones of Morne Lazarre where contaminated corpses are still under the rubble. SDSH will support the Ministry in training and mobilizing community organizations led by a Ministry sanitary officer to continue the disinfection.
SDSH also plans to reprogram nutrition activities to address the needs of affected and displaced populations who rely on existing SDSH public- and private-sector partners, including the identification and treatment of malnourished children and routine nutrition-support activities.