Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

Food Aid Hurts Haiti’s Farmers

By Steve Baragona, Voice of America Helping in a crisis can pose dilemma for local farmers and merchants Photo: VOA – S. Baragona, Rice farmers can be adversely affected by food aid. About three hours north of Port-au-Prince, the Artibonite Valley is the center of Haiti’s rice production. This season, farmer Charles Surfoad is storing his rice rather than selling it. He says food aid from the earthquake relief effort produced a glut that pushed down prices.  If he sells now, he says he’ll lose money. Adverse effects “Food aid is never good for us,” he says. “As a farmer, I’m one of the first affected. You can’t send that to a country where that’s what they grow.” Surfoad says if he can’t sell his rice, he won’t have money to buy seeds for next season. And because he supplies […]

UN-supported vaccination drive targets thousands of Haitian children

UN News Centre Haitian children An estimated 60,000 Haitian children under the age of five will receive life-saving vaccinations in a major immunization campaign that kicks off in the Caribbean country on Saturday, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) announced today. Routine immunization of children in Haiti was severely disrupted by the massive earthquake that struck on 12 January. Health facilities were damaged or destroyed, and interruptions to fuel and electricity had a major impact on health services, including the refrigeration system that supports storage and distribution of vaccines, according to UNICEF. Vaccination rates in Haiti were as low as 53 per cent even before the quake, the agency said. Children will receive vaccinations against polio, diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough (pertussis), measles, and rubella during the drive, which will be led by the Haitian health ministry with the support of […]

Brazil, CARICOM to Hold Haiti Aid Meeting in 30 Days

People’s Daily Online Brazil and the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) promised Monday to convene a high-level meeting in 30 days to discuss ways to help Haiti recover from a devastating earthquake. The meeting between the Brazilian government and the CARICOM secretariat will be aimed at establishing modalities of trilateral cooperation with Haiti in sheltering, educational and agricultural aid, among others, the leaders said in the Declaration of Brasilia, a statement issued after the First Brazil-CARICOM Summit in Brasilia. Leaders from Brazil and the CARICOM members, which include Haiti, gathered for the first time in the Brazilian capital to discuss how to build on bilateral cooperation. Haiti, a member of the 14-member CARICOM, and Brazil signed several cooperation agreements at the Brazil-CARICOM Summit. Haitian President Rene Preval held a private meeting with Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva. Preval asked for […]

Healthcare In Haiti: A Catch-22

By Andrew MacCalla, Huffington Post Since the devastating earthquake on January 12th, hospital services in Haiti have been provided to patients for free. No matter what your status or ability to pay, for three months after the earthquake you could feel certain that you could see a doctor and (hopefully acquire medications) for free. This was a fantastic service and was a great idea because it enabled the poor to have access to the healthcare services that they often go without. However, the free service in many facilities has now ended because these hospitals have only been guaranteed reimbursement for their services until April 12th. Many hospitals are now struggling with what to do next. If they begin charging people to see the doctor, the majority of Haitian people will not be able to afford it. Thus, the follow-up treatment […]

Health Workers in Haiti Fear Spike in Infectious Disease

By Jeff Swicord, Voice of America   Photo: VOA Photo J. Swicord. Dr. Megan Coffee examines a patient named Stanley who has tuberculosis at Port-au-Prince Hospital Port-au-Prince General Hospital is the largest hospital in Haiti.  Some of its buildings were damaged during the earthquake, but with the help of international medical organizations it has remained open.  On any given day, more than 300 patients arrive looking for care.  More than two months after the quake, doctors are seeing less of the crush injuries they saw right after the earthquake.  Now, as the rainy season begins, they’re concerned about infectious disease. Dr. Megan Coffee is an infectious disease specialist from California. She has spent the past two months volunteering at Port au Prince General Hospital. She’s concerned about the likely spread of infectious disease in Haiti.  She said the medical needs […]

Building A Lasting Healthcare System For Haiti

By Rebecca Harrington, Huffington Post The idea of universal healthcare, or at the very least, providing more accessible healthcare for the United States’ poorest families, is a hotly-debated topic across the country. However, in Haiti, where the average person makes just over $1 a day, expensive, inaccessible health care can often make the difference between life and death. Diseases that are easily treatable – and often preventable – like pneumonia, diarrhea, and malaria, can become a death sentence for Haitians, particularly for children. In a post-earthquake environment like Haiti’s, providing healthcare for the survivors has now become one of the top priorities. January’s earthquake killed more than 220,000 people and injured more than 300,000 Haitians, many of whom require ongoing healthcare to stay alive and lead productive lives. In the days immediately after the earthquake and in an effort to […]

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