Access to Healthcare in Haiti

Published: 2021-09-10 12:45:09
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Category: Poverty, Medicine, Health Care, Haiti

Type of paper: Essay

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Access to Healthcare Services in Haiti Lena Almas Miami Dade “Healthcare is a human right, every American is entitled to the right to adequate medical care and the opportunity to achieve and enjoy good health. ” Those words were spoken by former President Theodore Roosevelt on January 11, 1944 to the American Congress. This essential freedom is not enjoyed by the global society at large and currently “over one billion people lack access to basic healthcare systems. ” (Carr, 2004, p. 28) Unfortunately, the poorest countries in the world are often found to be the ones most in need of these basic medical services.
The island nation of Haiti is the poorest countries in the Western Hemisphere. Seven million people inhabit an area the size of New Jersey. Seventy-eight percent of Haitians live on less than two dollars a day and only sixty four percent of the country is literate. (Shah, 2010) “Haiti has the worst malnutrition, the highest rates of infant and maternal mortality, and the worst AIDS epidemic in the Americas. Nearly half the population is chronically undernourished. Of every thousand children born in Haiti, 71 die before reaching the age of 5. ” (Partners In Health, 2012, para. ) Many factors over the last 200 years have contributed to a healthcare system in crisis. The paper will examine how healthcare is delivered within this impoverished nation and the vast dynamics that contribute the current healthcare crisis. Haiti’s healthcare is delivered in three sectors, the public, semi-public, and the private sector. The private for-profit sector provides approximately one third of the population’s healthcare and is located dominantly within the capital city of Port-au-Prince. Here doctors and hospitals often expect payment in advance for services. Mangan, 2009) If you are one of the twenty percent that live above the poverty line private healthcare might be an option for your healthcare needs. However; close to eighty percent of Haitian household find themselves living in abject poverty on less than 2 dollars and day and half of all household live on less than one dollar a day. For these people healthcare is found in the pubic and semi-public sectors. The public sector is run by the Ministry of Public Health and Population and Ministry of Social Affairs and is responsible for providing healthcare to the Haitian itizens. (World Health Organization [WHO], 2010, p. 6) Only one in 10 people here are covered by public health insurance. “The 2005 World Health Report estimates that the Haitian government spends only $2 per capita on health each year, accounting for about 40 percent of national expenditures on health. Since health insurance is not available or affordable for the vast majority of Haitians, households must pay for health care or go without. ” ("Zanmi lasante site background," n. d, para. 3).
In Haiti there are 371 health posts, 217 health centers and 49 hospitals ran by the Ministry of Health and an estimated 40% of the population lacks access to health services (Pan American Health Organization, n. d. ) Often, “citizens in Haiti are not always familiar with the medical system of their own country and will avoid or delay seeking care due to lack of funds for transportation, services, and medicines” (Mangan, 2009). Most Haitians continued to meet their health-care needs through traditional remedies. Herbal medicines are widely used, especially in rural areas.

In addition to home remedies, herbal specialists (dokte fey) provided massage and herbal remedies. Many voodoo specialists are also experts in herbal remedies. In addition to the lack of funding and knowledge about healthcare resources within the country there is also found to be a lack of healthcare workers. In 1998, there were 2. 4 physicians and 1 nurse per 10,000 people. (Pan American Health Organization, n. d. ) Human resources are insufficient and lack of funds has prevented the creation of new positions and many professionals go into private practice or emigrate.
In 1999, a bilateral cooperation agreement was signed with Cuba, under which 500 Cuban health professionals have been working in 62% of the municipalities for 5 years (Pan American Health Organization, n. d. ) Being elderly in Haiti was difficult before the earthquake. So difficult, in fact, that the average Haitian lifep is only 61 years. Those over age 65 make up only 3. 4 percent of the population, compared with 13 percent in the United States. View a disabled child/elderyly as punishment or as a condition caused by a supernatural force, however the Disability is not shameful for family.
References Carr, D. (2004). “Improving the Health of the World’s Poorest People” [Health Bulletin 1]. Retrieved from Global Issues: http://www. prb. org/pdf/ImprovingtheHealthWorld_Eng. pdf Cong. Rec. 50 (1944, January 11). Mangan, J. (2009, January 30). Haiti: Cultural competency and Tuberculosis Control [Educational Material]. Retrieved from Southeastern National Tuberculosis Center: http://sntc. medicine. ufl. edu/Files/Products/Country%20Guide%20-%20Haiti. pdf Pan American Health Organization. (n. d. ). Haiti (332-349). Washington, DC: Government Printing Office.
Partners In Health. (2012). The Situation in Haiti. Retrieved November 6, 2012, from http://www. pih. org/where/pages/Haiti Shah, A. (2010). Haiti. Retrieved , from http://www. globalissues. org/article/141/haiti World Health Organization. (2010). Public health risk assessment and interventions. Earthquake: Haiti. Retrieved from http://www. who. int/diseasecontrol_emergencies/publications/haiti_earthquake_20100118. pdf Zanmi lasante site background. (n. d). Retrieved November 13, 2012, from http://www. pih. org/pages/haiti-background

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