I would argue that the measurement of progress in a country is not the quantity of money a person has, not the ammount of technology possessed, but rather the ability of that country to meet the needs of its children. The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) has just released a report which suggests we have a long way to go, for Haiti and the world.
We frequently write about the innovative work that Project Medishare and its partners began in Thomonde and have expanded into ineighboring provinces. Recently, they remodelled their website and added a very nice blog and its definitely worth a look if you are interested in Haiti's Central Plateau and public health.
HIV/AIDS, Malaria, and TB are the unholy Trinity of illness in the developing world. But there are a number of less widely known diseases, which while not fatal, cause a great deal of sickness, suffering, and disability. One of them is Lymphatic Filariasis, also known as Elephantiasis. But what is it? LF is a disease that is transmitted by mosquitoes that bite infected humans and pick up microfilariae – thread like parasitic worms. Below is a picture.
Infant mortality is high in Haiti, needlessly so. According to the CIA Factbook, Haiti has the 38th highest infant mortality rate of 221 countries. Number 37 is the DRC! Clearly, more needs to be done to protect the health of children...the most vulnerable members of a vulnerable country.
Members of the Haiti Innovation Community are by now no doubt familiar with the organization Partners in Health and the pionerring work their team has done in Haiti bringing community based health care to the lowest possible resource settings, and in particular, developing novel new approaches to treating both HIV/AIDS and Tuberculosis.
It would be an under-statement to say that Haiti is a hungry country. Population growth, deforestation, and a weak economy are just a few reasons. Hunger also contributes to instability in Haiti - building a functional democracy that can endure over the long term is a challenge when many do not know where their next meal is coming from.
An article on the Partners in Health website recently caught my eye. For those not familiar, Partners in Health is a non profit organization that pioneered community based methods of treating HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis in low resource settings with incredible success. The program started in Haiti and was expanded into Latin America and Africa.
On October 15th, an article appeared on CNN.com recognizing Susie Scott Krabacher, former Playboy Playmate, for her ongoing work to bring health care to orphans and vulnerable children.
Below is an announcement that the Green Family Foundation will be providing 2.4 million for health care and nutrition programs in Haiti. The Green Family Foundation has been supporting innovative programming in Haiti for years.
Haiti is a tough place to be a kid. The infant mortality rate for 2005 (73.45 deaths/live births/per year) places it at 33rd highest out of 226 contenders. Though Haiti has made progress against HIV/AIDS, far too many young lives are lost to diarreah, respiratory infections, malaria and other conditions which can be prevented and treated.