- About Us
- Our Work
- Work With MSF
- Public Events
- Press Room
MSF in Haiti, 2001
All articles on Haiti »
Comprehensive Aid to Communal Health Units
Access to health care in Haiti is impeded by lack of money and geographic proximity, especially in rural areas. Coupled with low vaccination coverage, malnutrition, and lack of access to water and sanitation services, this results in high rates of respiratory infections, diarrhea, and other communicable diseases. MSF assists local health authorities with the implementation of Community Health Units (CHUs), a system of organizing health care that was introduced as part of an overall decentralization of the country's health care system begun in 1996.
Since 1996, MSF has worked to launch the Communal Health Unit covering the communes of Saint-Marc, Desdunes, and Grande Saline. Key goals include improving management of the CHU, improving maternal care at all levels, and ensuring emergency surgical care. The CHU includes a hospital and 18 health centers and covers 200,000 people. In 2000, MSF helped refurbish these health facilities.
MSF also supports the CHU of Verrettes, which covers the communes of Petite Rivière, Verettes, and de Chapelle. MSF focuses on the health center and five dispensaries in Petite Rivière, which has a population of 145,000. MSF supervises medical staff and has refurbished some of the dispensaries.
In response to the country's high maternal mortality rate, MSF work in both CHUs puts special emphasis on maternal care for women of childbearing age.