CountryChoice for the Final Paper
Inrelation to other nations, reports have indicated that Haiti depictsthe real picture of a country undergoing crucial health challenges.The reports further show that the health quagmire in Haiti hasdirectly inhibited the natives’ participation in the developmentalprojects to stabilize the economy of the nation (Archer & Le,2015). As per the studies carried out by the World HealthOrganization, the chief causes of mortality in infants includedsevere diarrhea ailments, infections of the intestines, and diseaseswithin the post-delivery period, poor nutrition as well as criticalcontagious in the respiratory tract. The research revealedcommunicable and parasitic ailments were the leading causes of deathamong school going children. Many adolescents succumbed to death as aresult of HIV/AIDS infections, being assaulted, murder, tuberculosis,incidences of typhoid, and maternal complications. However, itconfirmed that females were prone to high incidences of violence andbeing abused sexually. Among adults, occurrences of HIV/AIDS,infections of the digestive system and delivery complication are theleading death factors in Haiti. The medical regime of this countrythough not part of the course can provide an excellent basis forresearch and reflection on health related issues. I will, therefore,focus on the background, influences, and the health structures withinHaiti. From the discussions, I will relate it to some of thecountries that we covered in the course.
Backgroundand Major Influences to the Contemporary Health Situation in Haiti
Haitiis located in the Caribbean in the western part of the HispaniolaIsland that it shares with the Republic of Dominica. As per the 2009census, the country had a population of 9 million people.Economically within the region, it is the poorest state with massivedeforestation with only 3% of its land forested. In the case ofenvironmental disasters, which are prevalent, about 96% of thepopulation is seriously hit since they depend on agriculture andcasual sectors for a living. In 2008, from August to September, itwas struck by four chief hurricanes that cripplingly affected thetransport, communication and the health division and the overalleconomic productivity. The approximated gross domestic productdevelopment rate was at 3.7% before the hurricanes but dwindled to1.3% percent because of the impacts of the calamities (Vertefeuille,2013). The situation became even worse on 12 January 2010 when shewas hit by a dominant earthquake ever within 200years. The capitalcity was totally devastated. About 220,000 individuals died, and300,000 got injured. It is estimated that over US$8 billion were lostwhich is more than 120% of its 2009 GDP. It rendered over 1.5million people homeless subjecting them to live in tents and poorconditions as well as in inadequate basic social amenities. Theearthquake weakened the medical organization since it damaged andeven led to the collapse of the hospitals and health centers, and thedeath of therapeutic professionals and students within the medicalsegment.
Povertyin Haiti has also been attributed to its colonization from the year1497 by France. It was during this period that it was exploitedfully. In fact, historians have used her as a typical example ofunderdevelopment as France used her vast resources for over 100 yearsit was in control. This deprived the state, an opportunity to developeconomically. This has been the primary factor behind the poor healthsetups in the nation. A large percentage of the Haitian populationcannot afford medical fee required to see a doctor (Awofeso, 2012).Though there are free health facilities and organizations, in ruralareas they are kilometers away making it difficult for thepopulations to access them, considering the high transport costs.
Insufficiencyhas also been linked to poor nutrition, which is the cause ofwellbeing problems. Studies show that over half the population inthat country is facing food insecurity malnutrition is the order ofthe day. It has threatened the development pattern among children.Numerous young ones are victims of prolonged undernourishment, andmost of the deaths among children are attributed to starvation.Generally, the country and the villages within the mountain region,in particular, have experienced prolonged hunger and starvation.Unfortunately, this problem has become complicated because of thepoverty cycle and other aspects that are beyond human control(Awofeso, 2012). This has been exhibited by rampant occurrences ofKwashiorkor and Marasmus. Children suffering from Kwashiorkor arecharacterized by bellies that are swollen and bloated limbs and faceat extreme stages when they retain a lot of fluid. Emaciation,leaving the little bodies with nothing apart from scary skin andbones is the leading characteristic of Marasmus. In both instances,the immunity of the children is compromised (Brodwin, 2014).
Tomake it worse, sanitation organization is deficient. For instance,the majority of the citizens cannot access clean water for drinking.Haiti is arguably the underserved state within the western hemispherewhen it comes to the aspects of water and sanitation. The inhabitantsthat have access to improved water sources and hygiene are onlycomparable to some states within Sub-Saharan Africa. It is way muchbelow the 80% average for the countries in the Latin America and theCaribbean (Vertefeuille,2013). Accessibility to enhanced sanitization is truncated even inthe cities but is worse in the rural regions where merely 10% of thetotal population accessed quality cleanliness by 2010. Inadequacy inwater and hygiene amenities has been at the center of the severe andradical spread of infection like cholera, which is still a continuingproblem in the country since October 2010. The principal means inwhich cholera can be transmitted is via consuming water that has beensoiled by human waste. The poverty life, consumption of water thatis full of impurities, constipation, and overworking, unscrupulousalimentation, absentia of hygiene in totality and the prevailingmeteorological conditions are part of the factors that make Haitianssusceptible to infections.
Theaspects of sex tourism and inadequate education on health mattershave also resulted in high incidents of HIV/AIDS infections in thecountry.
Impactson the Population
Theeconomic, environmental, and the general lifestyle have had a directimpact on the health status of the individuals.
Mentalstatus has been one of the areas that have sparked studies. Thenatural catastrophes, like the 2010 earthquake and the post-violenceclimate, have been linked with most psychological ailments (Raviola,2012). Many people lost their loved ones, investments, houses, andtheir means of support. A good number saw people die and sustainserious injuries in the course of the earthquake and the periodafter. The situation has even been made worse by the civil chaosesthat were experienced after the earthquake. These severe stressfuloccurrences have directly impacted on the mental health status of theHaitians. The likelihood of cognitive impairment is high among thenation’s women due to their susceptibility to the numerous types offorcefulness ranging from sexual, civil, and political disorders. Astudy carried out by Rose Benjamin, a psychologist in the Haitiancapital, on victims of sexual abuse found out that out of the 1505females within 9 territories, 70% were victims of abuse. 37% weresexually abused and 33% physically assaulted (Raviola, 2012). Anotherexamination, carried out by Norah Desroches among children, found outthat approximately 40% of them had mental complications that wereattributed to the loss of loved ones and a chaotic environment(Raviola, 2012). The proneness of certain areas to violence andcatastrophes has created fear among young ones. This has greatlyinfluenced their mental development exhibited by delayed development,social problems, emotional illnesses, interpersonal problems, anddifficulties within the education sector. The effects of trauma arealso felt by feelings of shame, embarrassment, helplessness, andseparation as well as by the cutting off of the family and communitybonds.
Unfortunately,psychological wellbeing has not received the necessary priority fromthe government. As per the 2003 statistics, the country had only tenpsychiatrists and nine nurses in the psychological field (Kransnoff,2013). Such a number is inadequate to deal with the huge number oftrauma cases that emerge every day as a result of several naturaldisasters. Most of the cerebral therapists are situated in thecapital making mandatory for the citizens to travel to receive theservices. Follow-up services are not guaranteed, and there are twopsychiatric facilities of which one was in a dilapidated conditioneven before the catastrophe. The funding of the field is also meager.
WomenHealth and Maternal Health Care
Thedifficulty in accessing medical centers due to the fact that they arelocated miles away has reduced the likelihood of expectant motherssearching for medical care. It is also not easy for poor women toseek medical attention. Poor sanitation coupled by malnutrition havenot only resulted to underweight infants but also increased themortality rate at childbirth. In the countryside parts, midwives playa pivotal role in the delivery of babies. They also carry outprenatal and post-delivery services for the infant and the mother. Itis, therefore, unsurprising that the number of women who succumb todeath in Haiti is high in comparison to any state within America. Outof the 100,000 reported live childbirths, approximately 380 women dieas a result of pregnancy affiliated difficulties (Estupinan, 2011).The worrying part is that the number may be higher than the recordedone since most deliveries are not carried out in health facilities.This has prompted the Center for Disease Control (CDC) group to throwin towel to address the hurdles to optimum motherly health in thecountry. The team set up goals to increase the accessibility toofficial deliveries and excellent emergency obstetric and newborncare, enhanced accessibility to sound prenatal and post-deliveryattention, the creation of scalable surveillance unit for maternaldeath plus a response structure and solidification of the dataregulation and investigation structure for the mothers and theinfant`s health. The goals recognized the facts that the number ofthe exposition in Haiti can be prevented if medical services are madeavailable adequately and at the right time and quality (Estupinan,2011). It is also possible to prevent, become aware of or treatseveral pregnancy-affiliated difficulties during the pregnancy periodand afterward. The objectives also provide a platform forpractitioners to examine the exact number of maternal death and theefficiency of the involvements that are put in place to bring thesituation under control.
Comparisonbetween Haiti and United States of America Health Sector
Thereis a thick line of difference between the American and the Haitianhealth structure. In fact, the medical part of Haiti has no clearsystem, structure, and plan none of the three has been executedfully. The institutions that exist are utterly inadequate, directfrom the medical employees, the subordinate staff, the paraphernaliato treatment. The area is left at the mercy of the nongovernmentalorganizations, like the MSF, the Cuban organization, and thereligious-based organization to offer assistance where they can. Forinstance, there is a health institution based in Carrefour that isbeing run by MSF. The hospital has 275 beds that serve a populationof over 400,000 individuals (Awefoso, 2012). The condition is thesame in Cite Soleil. Apart from the Non-governmental hospitals, thereis a public institution known as St Catherine`s run by thegovernment. Just like many governments sponsored centers, it boastsof the top cream of Haitian doctors but it is not adequatelyequipped.
Charitymissionaries run a minor center that serves HIV/AIDS victims plus afew other minor health institutions each of them attends toapproximately 250,000 people. Lastly, there is Centre de NutritionETSante Rosalie Rendu, which operates a children`s clinic, whichattends to over 300 children under the age of five per day. Motherstravel from miles away to access the clinic. The public infirmaries,including the leading teaching and referral hospital, the clinicaland psychiatric center are in dilapidated conditions and have beenneglected effectively by those responsible for running the country,the United Nations, donors, and religious organizations. Some of thedismantled conditions have been attributed to the 2010 earthquake,even though prior to the tremor the situation was not in good shapeeither. The setting is contrary to the US whereby the area has beendevolved to meet the needs of every individual. The facilities arealso accessible, adequate, and well equipped. Devolution has alsomade financing of medical care satisfactory.
Theabovementioned factors have prompted the United States Agency forInternational Development (USAID) in conjunction with the Haitiangovernment to come up with long-term strategies to curb the prolongedhealth dares (Vertefeuille, 2013). The USAID aims at satisfying theneeds of the natives through strengthening the medical setup andenhancing accessibility to worth services in the health sector. Ithas initiated immunization program to deal with communicable diseasesand health feeding programs to deal with malnutrition. Severalcampaigns have also been carried out to stress on the harnessing ofindividual abilities, resources, and characteristics to manage thehealth situation in Haiti. Studies have emphasized the need ofemphasizing on self-efficiency and the cultural, ecological,economic, societal, and the educational factors that criticallyinfluence the health sector. Modern healthcare structures have alsoemployed cultural competency to promote and sustain positive changesin the behavior. Other strategies put in place include screening andexamination of the patient`s history, seclusion of victims, using ofindividual protective gadgets, managing of animals, and stipulationof hygienic practices like the washing of hands.
Archer,N &Le, P. (2015).Haiti:AGuide for Global Health Workers, Medical Practitioners, and NGOVolunteers. DartmouthCollege Press.Awofeso,N. (2012).OrganizationalCapacity Building in Health Systems.London: Routledge.Brodwin,P. (2014).Medicineand Morality in Haiti:TheContest for Healing Power.Cambridge Cambridge University.Estupiñán,S. (2011). Integrating maternal health into Haiti`s National HealthPlan: from disaster relief to sustainable development. PanAmerican Journal of Public Health,30(5),484-489.Kransnoff,M.J. (2013).BuildingPartnerships in the Americas:AGuide for Global Health Workers.UPNE.Raviola,G. (2012). Mental Health Response in Haiti in the Aftermath of the2010 Earthquake: A Case Study for Building Long-Term Solutions.HarvardReview of Psychiatry (Taylor & Francis Ltd),20(1),68-77.Vertefeuille,J. F. (2013). Cautious optimism on public health in post-earthquakeHaiti. Lancet,381(9866),517-519.