Photo of the Week: Health System Recovery in Haiti

The 7.0 magnitude earthquake that struck Haiti on January 12, 2010 devastated an already strained health system. The subsequent outbreak of cholera has infected over 720,000 people and killed almost 9,000. National Public Radio reports that despite these challenges to the health system, Haiti has made progress in childhood vaccination rates and improving access to HIV treatments.

Some segments of the population are still though missing life-saving vaccinations, especially those given immediately after birth.

Shomi, a one-month-old baby birl, was brought into the hospital in Dessalines, Haiti with a case of pneumonia. Dessalines is in the Artibonite Department, northeast of Saint-Marc. In 2013, 5 percent of all newborn deaths worldwide were from pneumonia. Severe infections, of which pneumonia is a part of along with sepsis, meningitis, and tetnus, represent 23 percent of all newborn deaths worldwide. Photo: Riccardo Venturi/Save the Children

Among other indicators, the most recent DHS report in 2012 also shows that family planning has helped to reduce the number of births in reproductive age from 4 to 3.5. Also, Haiti’s neonatal mortality rate has declined from from 38 to 25 per 1000 live births from 1990-2013.

While challenges for Haiti’s health system remain clear, it is encouraging to see some RMNCH indicators moving in the right direction. 

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