Confronting Children Malnutrition
We are publishing this small narrative to give you an idea of the evolution of malnutrition in Haiti, especially in Carries and Ile à Vache. The situation is alarming. Child malnutrition remains one of the biggest health problems in Haiti, 22 children out of 100 suffer from chronic malnutrition according to the last report of EMMUS VI they suffer from a growth deficit based on height versus age. One in five 5-year-old children is underweight and almost 1/3 are chronically malnourished. Malnutrition is the cause of 35% of under-five deaths. Haiti holds the record for the death rate in children under 5 in the Americas (88 deaths per 1000 live births). This very high infant mortality rate is linked to malnutrition which makes children susceptible to diverse types of infection.
The communities of Carriès and Ile à Vache are no exception to this scourge. During the past few months, there has been a vertiginous increase in cases of malnutrition in both clinics. We have already seen during the last two months about 237 cases of severe malnutrition in both clinics. Children are affected not only physically, but also psychologically. In their faces one can only read despair and suffering. For example, we recently saw in our clinic a 2-year-old child (whose photo is attached herein) who suffers from chronic malnutrition. These images challenge us as health professionals, it is that we send this picture to see if some of our supporters could help these poor children who suffer from malnutrition in these communities.
Dr. Gelio Lafleur
Clinic in a Can
Providing prenatal care is central to our maternal and infantile mortality reduction project. With proper prenatal care we can screen for complications, increased the number of women who deliver their babies assisted by healthcare professionals and avail themselves of the postnatal care we offer to them and their infants. In 2017, FHHH was fortunate to receive the donation of a Clinic in a Can (CIAC) from GE with the help of St. Boniface Foundation and Built International. We presently use the CIAC as our prenatal clinics in Carries. General Electric (GE) developed the concept of Clinic in a CAN as relocatable clinics designed and built to serve patients in remote or isolated environments, or in disaster relief settings. They are ideal for areas where construction of traditional hospital is impractical. These fully equipped Clinics in a Can are made from shipping containers and are designed for a variety of needs from primary care to trauma, to surgery or dental care. The CIAC is fully equipped with examining table, sonogram and EKG machines as well as scales, BP machine, ophthalmoscope, and thermometer. The routine use of prenatal sonogram allows us to better monitor for complications. We can We can assign women to high-risk category if for example baby is of small size. The CIAC has greatly enhanced and stream lined our prenatal visits. With nearly 2500 prenatal visits yearly in our facilities, this is a great addition to our rapidly expanding program.
Dr. Yolaine St Louis