MSH Delivers Contraceptives after Earthquake in Haiti
Despite the many challenges of working in Haiti following the January 12 earthquake, MSH’s Leadership, Management, and Sustainability (LMS) program distributed more than 1 million family planning commodities in the month following the disaster. This included over 1.2 million condoms; 44,000 oral contraceptives; 33,200 injectable methods; and 100 implants. During the distribution, LMS carried out site evaluations throughout the country to ensure that it was still possible to manage the products according to established standards for US Government-supported health sites.
Given the displacement of more than 700,000 Haitians in the Port-au-Prince area alone, the availability and distribution of condoms and other family planning products is an essential component of the post-earthquake response. As the relief effort continues, LMS will be providing condoms and other family planning methods in the relocation camps. Working with a local NGO, LMS will support community-based distribution by youth leaders and potentially mobile clinics as part of this effort.
LMS also worked with the Unité de Coordination des Programmes of the Ministry of Health to hold the first post-earthquake meeting for nongovernmental organizations and others working on HIV as part of an effort to develop a one-year action plan to ensure rapid resumption of HIV & AIDS services in Haiti. The program also has developed health communication messages on water and sanitation with Haiti’s Ministry of Health and developed a health communication plan to reinforce Haitians’ knowledge of and commitment to adopting good health practices, particularly in the relocation camps.
LMS has been in Haiti since 2008 and is focused on building a unified commodity security system for condoms and other family planning commodities; improving the leadership and management and behavior change communication capacity of the Ministry of Public Health and Population and selected NGOs; and working with several local partners to strengthen HIV program capacity in Cité Soleil, a densely populated area of Port-au-Prince, as well as in other underserved areas.
“Our staff, colleagues, and partners are dedicated to forging ahead with our work in Haiti despite the ongoing challenges,” says Antoine Ndiaye, project director for LMS/Haiti. “We are adapting the tools we have already introduced in our work here —such as the Leadership Development Program—to address the country’s needs after the earthquake.”
LMS has already re-established connections with all its local partners— including the Ministry of Health and local NGOs—and is coordinating with USAID, other international agencies, and MSH projects.