Maternity and Pediatric Care
Haiti has the highest rates of maternal mortality in the western hemisphere, with 63% of deliveries taking place at home without any formal medical support. There are many reasons women and infants in Haiti face highly inflated risks. Extreme poverty, poor health infrastructure and lack of access to quality health care, to name a few. Approximately half the population of Haiti has no access to basic health services at all, and frequent natural disasters have also eroded the availability of life-saving maternal health care.
THHT supports a 25-bed maternity unit in North Haiti. This facility provides round the clock obstetrical care, with two natural birthing suites and an emergency obstetrical operating theatre. In the last year alone 1,592 babies were born at the hospital with 2,264 patient cases hospitalized for maternity care. The hospital delivered 525 critical life-saving C-sections for emergency and high-risk cases. The neonatal and pediatric units provided inpatient care for 1,491 patient cases last year and 2,363 children under 1 were vaccinated at the hospital.
THHT also carries out an extensive community outreach program, which includes delivering maternal health support in the form of prenatal mobile health clinics for the most marginalized women, a network of Traditional Birth Attendants and Community Health Agents, and a 4×4 Ambulance and local first responder team to refer high risk women to hospital. In the past three years our Community Health Agents completed almost 30,000 household visits and we trained and equipped 110+ Traditional Birth Attendants who collectively assisted in 2,466 deliveries.
Programs like these, in conjunction with broader development efforts, are making a tangible, life-saving difference. There has been a 43% decline in Haiti’s maternal mortality rate since 1990, and infant mortality is estimated to be falling by approximately 3 per cent annually. However, a great deal remains to be done, and in 2016 the THHT supported programs saw more patients than ever before, with many of our hospital based services regularly seeing twice the amount of patients they were designed for.