Improving Health in Haiti: Remember, Rebuild: Providing Access to Essential Health Services

Improving Health in Haiti: Remember, Rebuild: Providing Access to Essential Health Services

 Improving Health in Haiti: Santé Pour le Développment et la Stabilité d'Haïti, final report cover photo.

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. For the next several weeks, we are featuring Improving Health in Haiti: Remember, Rebuild, a blog series of retrospective and fresh content based on MSH’s thirty-plus years of working shoulder-to-shoulder in partnership with the people of Haiti to strengthen and rebuild the country’s health system.

We begin the series with a retrospective excerpt from Santé pour le Développement et la Stabilité d’Haiti (SDSH), a US Agency for International Development (USAID)-funded project, led by MSH, that successfully supported improving the health of the most vulnerable people in all ten Haitian administrative departments for six years (July 2007 to November 15, 2013). The excerpts below originally appeared in Improving Health in Haiti: Santé Pour le Développment et la Stabilité d'Hai&;ti, July 2007–November 15, 2013, the SDSH final report (download in English or French).

Through innovative performance-based financing agreements, technical assistance, and health care services rooted in the community, SDSH provided access to essential health services to over 4.4 million people. The SDSH partnership’s positive health impact continues throughout Haiti today.

After the earthquake: Rebuilding health amid destruction

January 2010’s devastating earthquake killed more than 230,000 people, displaced more than 1.5 million, and affected the entire nation. Already-fragile infrastructure was destroyed and demands for emergency trauma and mental health services placed additional burdens on health facilities. Catchment populations also changed dramatically as displaced citizens moved into camps or migrated outside the earthquake impact zone. …

Facing deep personal losses themselves, SDSH staff quickly resumed project operations from an outdoor porch at one employee’s home to ensure that partner NGOs and public sites would have the support they needed. Some staff members worked in partner health facilities delivering emergency clinical services, and others mobilized to conduct a detailed post-earthquake needs assessment of nearly all SDSH sites.

This rapid assessment provided the basis for SDSH’s contingency plan to reinforce the partners’ capacity and by March 2010, the team began to see improvements. SDSH also received several direct grants from partners to provide health services to displaced persons, support reinforcement of damaged infrastructure, assess health services provision in the camps, and provide badly needed pharmaceutical supplies. …

Read the report (PDF, English)

Lire le rapport (PDF , français)

We invite you to follow the blog series, Improving Health in Haiti: Remember, Rebuild, all month and share your comments at the bottom of each post. If you are interested in contributing to this series, please contact Rachel Hassinger, blog editor, here, at communications(at)msh(dot)org, via DM to Twitter , or message Facebook . Join the conversation on Twitter with hashtags , , , , and .