Health in Haiti: essential and accessible healthcare and first aid in communities

“I attended emergency and CPR training sessions, which enabled me to save the lives of infants. The first one could not breathe when he was born, and, thanks to the knowledge I acquired, I was able to resuscitate him. My community and I will never stop thanking the Canadian Red Cross and its partners for the health program implemented in the Southeast.”
Miss Florestal, head of the Marbial Health Centre

Within hours of the earthquake in Haiti, Red Cross staff and volunteers were administering first aid to survivors of this terrible tragedy. To date, the Red Cross has provided hundreds of thousands of people with medical support, which includes the deployment of Red Cross field hospitals.

The Canadian Red Cross implemented a $35-million integrated health program in the Southeast department to improve access to quality services for mothers and children.  It focuses on four key elements: community health, health centres, reconstructing the St-Michel Hospital and training its staff, and strengthening public health institutions.

The program was set up in collaboration with the Haitian government and the Haitian Red Cross, with the support of expert Canadian partners that have been working in Haiti for years: the Sainte-Justine University Hospital Centre, the University of Montreal International Health Unit and the Montreal Health and Social Services Agency.

After Hurricane Matthew struck in October 2016, the Red Cross provided relief to over 3,500 people. Mobile medical teams travelled to 29 isolated, hard-to-reach villages whose health facilities were either destroyed or overwhelmed following the hurricane.

The Canadian Red Cross is working to rehabilitate four damaged health dispensaries in the Grand’Anse department, train volunteers from the affected communities, and strengthen public health programs in collaboration with the Haitian Red Cross and the Haitian Ministry of Public Health and Population.
 
Key facts and figures
  • The only departmental hospital in the Southeast was reconstructed.
  • A community health centre was constructed, and three rural dispensaries were converted into health centres, thus improving access to healthcare in remote areas.
  • Continuous training and support was provided to staff at these establishments.
Marked improvement in sanitary practices
  • Over 700 volunteers and supervisors were trained in community-based health and first aid, as well as in prevention and health promotion activities.
  • Each month, 10,000 households were educated on health matters by community agents who shared information regarding family planning, hygiene and sanitation, diarrhea and malaria prevention, and first aid.
  • 4,500 latrines were built in collaboration with the Netherlands Red Cross.
  • Mother leaders: In hard-to-reach areas, groups of Haitian women were trained to educate their communities on health practices like the use of latrines, water treatment and good food-handling techniques.
Learn more about our action in Haiti.