A year of continued commitment and steady growth
2016 has been very busy for the Foundation for Hope and Health in Haiti, FHHH. We continued to explore new ways of improving delivery of care and both of our facilities in Carries and Ile a Vaches continue to be extremely busy as we provided free medical care to more than 23, 000 men, women, and children. We expanded the services we offer to include deliveries, laboratory tests, X-ray, vision and dental care. FHHH members and our Haiti based staff worked tirelessly to ensure that all who visited our clinics received appropriate, quality, and compassionate care.
2016 was also the second year of a project supported by a generous grant from WK Kellogg Foundation, which, focuses on improving the health and school performance of children in the communities of Ile a Vaches, and Carries. Our first aim was to encourage children in our communities to have regular checkups. We also emphasized to parent the need for preventive care such as immunizations, exclusive breast feedings, and nutritional screening.
Vitamin A deficiency is the leading cause of preventable blindness and vision impairment in children; it can cause immune deficiencies resulting in increased risks of illness and death from childhood infections, and is essential to support growth and development. World Heath Organization (WHO) recommends bi-annual vitamin A supplement to children 6 months to 6 years. Only 25% of children in Haiti receive the recommended dose. Through a grant from Vitamin Angel, FHHH distributed 1,000 doses of Vitamin A to children less than 1 and 4,000 doses to children 1 to 6. We also distributed 4,000 doses of prophylaxis medication for intestinal parasites. To ensure healthy beginnings, we provided free prenatal vitamins to all pregnant women seen in our facilities for the duration of their pregnancy. We distributed prenatal vitamins to nearly 700 women.
Our belief is that “a healthy child is a brighter child” and in 2016, FHHH went a long way in ensuring that the children we serve are healthier.
DID YOU KNOW
Zika virus is primarily transmitted to people through the bite of an infected Aedes mosquitoes usually bite during the day, peaking during early morning and late afternoon/evening. This is the same mosquito that transmits dengue, chikungunya and yellow fever. Sexual transmission of Zika virus is also possible. In most, the symptoms are mild, last 2-7 days and include fever, skin rashes, conjunctivitis, muscle and joint pain, malaise, and headache.
Zika virus infection during pregnancy is a cause of congenital brain abnormalities including microcephaly.
FHHH embarks on a major project to improve the maternal / infant mortality in Haiti.
W.K. Kellogg Foundation recently awarded FHHH a generous grant to support a project to improve the maternal infant mortality rates in the communities of Ile a Vaches and Carries.
The birth of a child should be a joyous occasion, but too often for women living in poor underdeveloped countries such as Haiti, this is an event that brings heartbreak and agony. Access to skilled care during pregnancy, childbirth and the first month after delivery is key to saving women’s lives and those of their children. The maternal mortality rate in Haiti of 359/ 100000 births is the highest in the Western Hemisphere; it is 7 times higher than the rate in neighboring Dominican Republic. A Healthy infant is more likely to grow into a healthy child and productive adult. The neonatal mortality rate in Haiti is 25.4/1000 births is also the highest in the Western Hemisphere. In Haiti only 30% of women deliver their babies assisted by a skilled healthcare professional. In poor rural area that percentage is less than 10%. In the communities we serve 90% of women deliver at home by not always trained traditional birth attendants and often under unsanitary conditions, which accounts for the high maternal infant mortality.
To address these issues, FHHH will establish a comprehensive prenatal, natal and postnatal program to women with no such access. In addition to our current practice of providing free prenatal vitamins as well as the necessary screenings to pregnant women, we will use health agents and community outreach to increase the number of pregnant women who receive prenatal care. Our project will provide training, birthing kits, and the proper tools to the local traditional birth attendants, so that they are able to perform safe and more sanitary home deliveries. We will provide postnatal care to all mothers and babies. Most importantly, we will encourage the women and birth attendants to refer women to deliver in our facilities by our doctors or nurse midwives. Deliveries assisted by trained healthcare professionals have been found to have he most positive affect in reducing maternal infant mortality.
FHHH members and volunteers will continue to train, support and empower our local staff and also conduct extensive training for the local birth attendants to ensure the best outcomes for home deliveries and to increase the number of referrals to our facilities. The ultimate goal is to have more and more women deliver at healthcare facilities assisted by trained professionals. FHHH will continue to work collaboratively with the broader community to achieve greater impact.
WE NEED TO CONTINUE OUR WORK.
JOIN US IN OUR JOURNEY. HELP US AID THOSE WHO NEED SO MUCH
Foundation for Hope and Health in Haiti, FHHH was born form the experiences from our first trip in January 2010.
At FHHH we feel that healthcare is a human rights. As such we want to ensure that all of those in Haiti who need it will have access to quality and compassionate healthcare.