Haiti, Canada, and the WHO Launch Maternal and Child Health Initiative
The World Health Organization (WHO) and the Haitian and Canadian governments launched a maternal and child health initiative today, a continuation and expansion of two existing programs. Even prior to the earthquake, Haiti was a difficult place to be a mother or a young child. Through this initiative, mothers and children under five receive basic care without cost. The intent is to progressively scale up this initiative to 90 health care facilities throughout the country. The full press release follows.
The Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO), together with the Haitian Ministry of Health and with the support of Canada, launched a major project on maternal and child health, Manman ak timoun an sante, today in Port-au-Prince. The project seeks to reduce maternal and child mortality over the next two years. President Michel Martelly of Haiti; PAHO Assistant Director Socorro Gross; and Canada's Ambassador Henri-Paul Normandin will join other government and international officials to launch the project during a conference at the Karibe Hotel in Port-au-Prince, from 9 am to 1 pm local time.
The project Manman ak Timoun an Sante (Mother and Child Health Project) represents a concrete effort and commitment of the Ministry of Health of Haiti, Canada, PAHO/WHO, and other partners to improve the health of Haitians, with women and children as a priority. Canada has provided C$20 million to support the project. Manman ak timoun an sante is the continuation and extension of two joint efforts: the Free Obstetric Care project, known as SOG, which began in 2008, and the Free Child Care project, known as SIG, which started after the earthquake that devastated Haiti in January 2010. Manman ak timoun an sante will continue to provide free prenatal care for pregnant women and health care for children under 5 years old.
The project aims to strengthen the Haitian health system, develop a sustainable financing mechanism that could be the basis for a new national protection system, and improve the health of women and children by providing free prenatal care for pregnant women and health services for children under 5. Manman ak timoun an sante will be implemented in the entire country through performance-based contracts with up to 90 health institutions. The implementation will be progressive. Initially a minimum package of health services will be offered to pregnant women and children, while linking the secondary level of the health system to primary health care and creating strong links to ongoing efforts by other health partners. For more information please contact Souad Lakhdim, PAHO/WHO Haiti, email: firstname.lastname@example.org or Tel: (509) 3817-0033.