Haiti's Healthcare System Essays

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The story of Haiti’s healthcare system is unfortunately tied all too closely to disaster, both man-made and nature-born. This paper will briefly discuss the pre-2010 earthquake healthcare environment in Haiti as the uncertainty that exists provides little opportunity to provide a reasoned understanding of its current national healthcare status.
As the most basic indicator of health, the life expectancy from birth in Haiti based on estimates by the World Health Organization is reported to be approximately fifty-five (55) years (although there are a variety of competing numbers provided by other sources). The infant mortality rate is approximately eight percent (8%) and the less than 5 years old mortality rate is over eleven percent (11.7%)
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In health care spending, Haiti ranks last in the western hemisphere, spending only US$83 per capita annually on health care. An even more striking figure is that there are only 25 physicians and 11 nurses per 100,000 population, although that number has been increasing recently due to an influx of Cuban trained Haitian doctors (MEDICC). Even in the capital city of Port-au-Prince medical care is limited with doctors and hospitals often requiring immediate cash payment for health services.
Compounding this lack of care, Haitians also lack clean drinking water and proper sanitation systems. Less than half the population has access to clean drinking water, a rate that is only surpassed by civil war-torn African nations. Even worse, half the population of Haiti can be categorized as “food insecure,” and this malnutrition has created a generation where half of all Haitian children are undersized (IFRC, 2010). In addition, this poor sanitation and hygiene, coupled with inadequate nutrition, have contributed to exceptionally high levels of individuals with chronic, yet often at best ill-treated, conditions.
Obviously, the extreme lack of quality health care services creates many opportunities for a much deeper review of the current health care system and its overwhelming limitations. Hopefully
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