haiti infant mortality

As epicenter of the January 12th, 2010 earthquake, the damage in city of Leogane was devastating. There was a 20% casualty rate and about 80% of structures were destroyed in this city of 200,000 people. Further, the limited health infrastructure that did exist in Leogane prior to the quake was badly damaged. As a result, Doctors Without Borders came to the rescue and constructed a “temporary” emergency hospital in Leogane a few weeks into the quake’s aftermath.

The Doctors Without Borders hospital has been a great asset for the region. After emergency care subsided, the hospital focused on maternity care, and provided care for 700 to 1000 births per month! Unfortunately, the Doctors Without Borders hospital closed in August 2015 because the earthquake crisis is now over. There is very limited hospital capacity in Leogane to cover the hospital’s closing and this will leave many poor women without options for delivery assistance.

As the poorest country in the western hemisphere, Haiti has one of the highest infant mortality rates in the world, with 630 deaths per every 100,000 live births. Maternal mortality rates are 350 per 100,000 live births. This is because only 25% of births are attended by trained health personnel in Haiti. In comparison, 95% of births in neighboring Dominican Republic, a poorer country, too, are attended by a health professional.

Covering the loss of the Doctors Without Borders hospital has been difficult. To this end, Global Health Connections constructed a building for maternity care at CAMEJO Hospital in Leogane. Unlike the 80% of hospitals in Haiti which are run by foreign NGOs, CAMEJO is Haitian-owned and operated and sustainable. It is not a “here today, gone tomorrow” NGO. CAMEJO and their new GHC Maternity Center are the pride of the community.

The GHC Maternity Center will save many lives in the Leogane area. In the course of planning for the opening, CAMEJO Hospital has recently employed numerous birth-related health professionals: a surgeon, a neonatologist, obstetricians, a pediatrician, a gynecologist, nurse midwives, etc. Additionally, Project CURE of Denver has supplied the Maternity Center with hospital beds and other supplies. And, health educational units in Colorado are getting active in training help at CAMEJO and in partnership with the Leogane Nursing School.

Please consider donating so that we can provide as much maternity care to the poor women in the Leogane area. A complete birthing care package for non-complicated births (including pre- and post-natal care) is about $100/woman in Haiti. Compare this to the $7,500 birthing care cost for poor woman that use the municipal Denver Health hospital!

If you would like to help with this vital project with sponsorship, a donation, training help, etcetera, please contact Dr. Blair Gifford, Board Chair of Global Health Connections (blair.gifford@ucdenver.edu).

Thanks for your support!

 

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