In Haiti, there is an urgent need to advance and promote the health of children. Haiti lags in almost every key pediatric health indicator, with the highest infant mortality rate, the highest under-five mortality rate, and the highest prevalence of undernourishment in the Western Hemisphere.
Due to these extremely difficult conditions, children in the rural, southern region of Haiti all too frequently suffer from diseases of poverty, including malnutrition, diarrheal diseases, anemia, and tuberculosis. These health issues, rarely seen in the United States, are the result of the poor conditions that their families live in. They lack access to clean water and sanitation, have poor diets that lack vital nutrients, or simply don’t have enough to eat, as their families struggle to survive.
Within this context, SBHF is a beacon of hope. In 2016, SBHF provided over 16,700 consultations for children under age fifteen at St. Boniface Hospital and the Villa Clinic. SBHF provides a wide range of health services to children, including primary care, emergency medicine, surgery, and treatment for malnutrition.
St. Boniface Hospital is home to the region's only inpatient treatment program for malnutrition. SBHF's hospital and community health teams jointly implement the Haitian Ministry of Health protocol on the prevention and treatment of malnutrition through community-based screenings and referrals of children for inpatient malnutrition treatment when necessary. This coordinated approach ensures that children who are undernourished in our communities are identified and started on therapeutic treatments quickly, and recieve important follow-up care at their homes to ensure they continue to thrive after treatment.