Haiti has the highest maternal mortality rate in the Western hemisphere. An estimated 1 in 285 births will result in a woman’s death, a ratio about 16 times higher than in the United States. (Partners in Health 2014)
Our community outreach efforts focus on two prenatal clinics at Shada and Bod me Limbe, which are run by nurses and community health workers called Agent Santes. These medical providers see women on a monthly basis in their local villages, where they screen them for diabetes and hypertension, provide treatment as needed, and ensure they have a safe birth plan.
In 2015, HUFH donated portable ultrasound machines to two of our partner hospitals, Hopital de Convention Baptiste Haiti (HCBH) and Justinian, and, continuing a program we began earlier, we offered an intensive two-day workshop on advanced ultrasound techniques for recognition of life threatening conditions in pregnant women.
HUFH is continuing this training with the residents at Justinian Hospital via telemedicine conferences. Ultrasound evaluation of pregnancies has taken on additional urgency in light of the mosquito-born Zika virus epidemic and the subsequent risk of having babies with microcephaly, a condition when a baby’s head is smaller than expected, potentially causing serious developmental disabilities.
MATERNITY CENTER SUPPORT
HUFH is committed to working closely with our partners in maternal health, such as Hope Health Action, Konbit Sante and Mama Baby Haiti, to help support their prenatal outreach, maternity centers and ambulance corps to reduce the maternal mortality rates.