UNICEF supports the health and nutrition activities of the Ministry of Public Health and Population (MSPP) in several areas across the country. Thanks to the financial support of the World Bank, UNICEF has been able to intervene in the departments of the South, Grand’Anse and Nippes. Vaccination is a fundamental component of UNICEF’s health programme for communities affected by Hurricane Matthew.
Camp-Perrin, 18 December 2018 – The health center of Camp-Perrin (South Department) is far from crowded as most women are at the local market. Nevertheless, several mothers are sitting with their children awaiting vaccination. Among them, Alexandra D., 27 years old, is holding her 11-month-old daughter Saila in her arms. The center offers several types of vaccines: BCG, Pneumococcus, Anti rotavirus, Pentavalent, among others.
Alexandra D. is not used to coming to this center. She lives in Duchity, a two-hour motorcycle ride from Camp Perrin. The journey is almost impossible on foot because the distance is too long. “The nurse in charge of vaccination was not available so I had to come to Camp-Perrin to get my daughter vaccinated,” she says.
“It’s important to vaccinate children to protect them from disease. This offers protection against microbes. I never fail to do it for my daughter, “she continues.
In these vulnerable communities, the support of UNICEF and its partners ensures free health care, which is a relief for the inhabitants.
The nurse also detected moderate malnutrition in the child and therefore prescribed nutritional supplements. Alexandra does not work; the father of her daughter lives in Port-au-Prince, and sends money but it is not enough. She does not know if she can afford to bring her daughter for the next appointment.
The nurse Yvanne Amazan, in charge of the vaccination-nutrition service, lives in Les Cayes. She goes to Camp-Perrin every morning. In addition to vaccination, the center offers several other services: emergencies, nutrition, pharmacy, laboratory work.
“The attendance rate of the center is around 75% for the commune of Camp-Perrin; this center receives the most children for vaccination. However, last year the rate was 60%. It is thanks to the awareness and community mobilization of community-based health workers that many more mothers come to vaccinate their children, “she says.
Ms. Amazan explains that parents come to the center on workdays but Wednesday is the day with the most attendance because the center administers the BCG and RR vaccine in addition to the other usual vaccines.
A project with multiple components
“We thank the World Bank for this generous contribution. It has strengthened our actions and allowed us to maintain a continued presence on the ground. Together with our partners and in support of the Ministry of Health, the interventions have helped improve the health of children and families, “said Maria Luisa Fornara, UNICEF Representative in Haiti.
The donation from the World Bank has helped fund several health activities in southern departments hit by Hurricane Matthew.
UNICEF’s key response was provided by mobile clinics to increase access to hard-to-reach populations and provide a comprehensive package of services including nutrition, micronutrient supplementation, immunization, prevention diarrheal and respiratory diseases, health services for women of childbearing age and pregnant women, essential neonatal care, the promotion of health services, as well as information to prevent the most common preventable diseases and STIs / HIV.