Editorial of Marc Vincent, UNICEF Haiti Representative

Young children, waiting outside, during an inauguration of a school

The 2017 is about to come to an end, it has been a year rich in intervention for UNICEF Haiti. We have supported the actions of the Government of Haiti and reinforcing its capacities in the areas that have been linked to survival and development of the children. Our actions are guided by our mandate which is the wellbeing of all the children.

It is the principle of equity that guides us to allow the most vulnerable children and families and those living in the most remote places to benefit from a life-saving humanitarian intervention. UNICEF has been on all fronts this year 2017.

Among other actions:

-The certification of foster families is part of one of the alternatives to placement of children in institutions. We also proceeded to the Certification of ” Schools Friend of Hygiene” with partners. Children will be able to evolve in a healthier environment.

– UNICEF has also contributed to strengthening the health system by providing technical support to the MSPP and developing community health systems by training community health workers and strengthening the network of health workers. These agents will help save lives.

– From January to September, more than 32,000 children aged 6 to 24 months and 22,000 pregnant and lactating women received several micronutrients to improve their diet and fight iron deficiency anemia.

In addition, we continued with our interventions in the departments affected by Matthew:

  • UNICEF enabled access to safe water to more than 640,000 people since the passage of Hurricane Matthew.
  • 120 schools damaged by Hurricane Matthew have been rehabilitated, which facilitated the return to class for over 30,000 students. More than 10,000 items of school furniture were provided in 139 schools, and 27,000 children received psychosocial support.
  • In 2017, a total of 10,628 children under five with severe acute malnutrition and 7,381 children with moderate acute malnutrition were treated. More than 32,000 children 6-24 months of age, and 22,725 pregnant and lactating women received micronutrients.

Due to climate change, cyclones are becoming more and more devastating. Strengthening awareness of risk and disaster management is a priority. We held consultations with young people in the South and Grand’Anse, the two departments most affected by Hurricane Matthew. Awareness also goes through our youth and adolescents.

2017 is leaving and 2018 is already knocking on the door. There will be new challenges, because the important thing is to capitalize on the good results recorded but also to correct those who deserve to be. Nevertheless, the goals will remain the same, creating an environment that allows Haitian children to develop their full potential.

We must strengthen the fight against cholera, victory is at hand, we can eliminate cholera.

I send a special greeting to all the children of Haiti, to our partners, and I wish you all a happy holiday.

 

Marc Vincent

Representative

ACAT in Nirva a model of continuity

The ACAT committe with partners Zanmi Lasante and UNICEF

The locality of Nirva (Department of Centre) is one of the first to be declared “End of open defecation” (ODF). Since the committee “Community Approach to Total Sanitation (ACAT) is doing everything possible, between hygiene awareness and home visit, to allow the community to continue on this good start. Cholera has virtually disappeared in this community.

“ACAT has had a major impact in the community. Before, cholera was wreaking havoc. Community members came together to solve the problem by helping people build toilets so that it does not happen again, “says Wilfrid Moise, chair of Nirva’s ACAT committee, who is satisfied with the current situation.

The locality has 150 families, there were only 66 latrines. As part of the ACAT, people have built nearly 42 latrines. Nirva is part of the communal section of Grand Boucan.

André Aimable, a member of the community, still remembers the difficult times the population had to go through, concerning the spread of cholera. “The ACAT is an extremely important experience for us, because before the parents had a lot of sadness. When their children had cholera, by taking them to the treatment center, they did not know if the children would come back alive, “he recalls.

DINEPA, UNICEF and Zanmi Lasante came to them, raising awareness about the importance of latrines and promoting hygiene. They decided to take part in the program.

Difficulties to accept the project

A Latrine with the tipitap

Initially it was not easy, as members of the population expected to receive material or financial assistance to build the latrines. This was even more difficult, as at the same time other organizations were building free latrines. The committee members showed patience and pedagogy to convince people to agree to build the latrines themselves.

“We had to explain to them that they will be the big beneficiaries of these latrines. Because it will be a considerable gain for the health of their children and for them too. We all need these latrines and we are witnessing the ravages of cholera, we have to get together to get there, “says Casséus Mercidieu, another member of the committee.

To dig the holes of the latrines, it needed willpower and courage. The committee members gathered at the end of the day by helping the people of the community. There was a snowball effect and everyone wanted a toilet. The toilets are built with the means of the edge, either in straws, in cloths, and rarely in concrete.

The community was declared “End of Open Defecation” (ODF) in February 2015 and there is a big testimonial party. “Since then we have never had a case of cholera in our community,” says Casseus, satisfied.

A coalition of all partners for monitoring

Jean Montas, Community WASH Officer, within Nirva, is responsible for hygiene awareness. He admits that he has no free time because he must make regular visits to the homes to make sure that certain hygiene rules are respected. For example, if the latrines are clean, if the openings are covered, if the tipitap (sort of gallon for washing hands) are in good working condition. Hygiene awareness is raised in schools, in churches, and in all places of assembly. Jean Montas puts the emphasis on the measures to be applied to avoid catching cholera.

He wonders when he can take a vacation. “But we belong to the locality, we must help people, it is the mission that I gave myself,” he says.

UNICEF supports Zanmi Lasante, implementation partner in Central Plateau. It is executed with the support of the National Directorate of Drinking Water and Sanitation (DINEPA) and the Ministry of Public Health and Population.

Rapid response teams: a real rampart against cholera

A rapid response team in the Department of Centre

The numbers of cholera cases have significantly reduced in 2017. They have never been so low. The new Cholera strategy has paid off. At the center of attention are the rapid response teams, who are true warriors. The members will fight cholera in the targeted departments, in good weather or rainy weather. Mainly in the department of Centre (Plateau Central), where the distances to be covered are sometimes immense. UNICEF is one of the key players in the fight against cholera in the country.

Mirebalais, November 23, 2017-The all-terrain car is rolling on the rocks, the road is not good. It is necessary to zigzag between the crevasses, to avoid the mud. It rained last night, but conditions are acceptable to reach Menaj, a locality close to the town of Laschaobas (Centre).

ACTED’s rapid response team, UNICEF’s partner, with their recognizable green T-shirts from several meters, is on the warpath. They come to conduct an awareness session. But the community is quiet because today is market day. However, there are still people who will be able to listen to messages and receive hygiene kits if it’s needed.

A member of the team with a loudspeaker has already broken off to bring together the people who are present. In the empty valley, his voice is echoed. He managed to gather about twenty women and a few children. Men are in the fields.

Important to continue awareness

A sensitization session

The team begins to raise awareness about hygiene. Today, the team is there for a reinforcement of awareness. It usually takes place after the distribution of hygiene kits. These kits contain soap, oral rehydration serum, and aquatabs (chlorine tablets) and a pail with a robinet.

“You have to wash your hands in crucial moments, before eating and after getting out of the toilet. Use treated water for your health and that of your children’’. After these messages, the team asks the residents who do not live too far to bring the water they use to test the chlorine residual, to check if they have followed the instructions.

The activities of rapid response teams consist of three parts: investigation, response, awareness. “Regarding the situation for the Lower Plateau, it’s pretty quiet because we went from 38 cases per week to 14 cases and for the moment it’s only 7 cases,” says Jennyfer Joseph, cholera project manager for the Lower – Central tray.

To travel long distances

One of the biggest challenges for rapid response teams is returning to the long distances they must travel to reach remote locations. Sometimes it can take hours or even days. Because they must sleep on the way, to continue their activities and to make sure that everyone is sensitized to the principles of hygiene.

“In some mountainous places, even mules cannot pass, but we have to go if there are cases of cholera. It’s part of our mission. Sometimes we do missions of several days in these localities to reach everyone, “recalls Nadia Delmond, emergency team leader for Acted, recalling that the reception of people is always positive.

Training Workshop on Education and Eradication of Child Labor

 

The participants at the training

“Education 2030 and the eradication of child labor”. This was the theme of the workshop organized at the International Training Center of the International Labor Organization (ILO) in Turin (Italy) from 06 to 10 November 2017.

The workshop brought together representatives from Burkina Faso, Comoros, Lebanon, Mali, Mauritania, Switzerland and Haiti, including the Director General of the Ministry of Education. One of the objectives was to enable participants to: develop a better understanding of the links between the achievement of the 2030 Education Goal and the elimination of child labor; identify different strategies to combat vulnerability to child labor and exclusion of children from education; reflect on the roles that stakeholders can play in achieving education by 2030 and eliminating child labor by 2025.

Per ILO estimates, about 218 019 000 children are working around the world; 151,622,000 of these children are between the ages of 6 and 14, and 75,525,000 children are performing hazardous work for their health, physical, social or mental development. Dangerous work refers to activities that jeopardize the education of children, activities that affect them in any schooling.

This workshop also allowed participants to review key international frameworks related to education and the issue of child labor. Special attention was paid to the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the various ILO Conventions on the minimum age for employment, and the worst forms of child labor, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) specifically Goal 4, which promotes equitable and quality inclusive education.

The eradication of child labor; an obligation

a training session

The participants in this workshop concluded that education and the eradication of child labor cannot be the exclusive business of the Ministries of Education of the countries.

The Director General of the Ministry of National Education and Vocational Training (MENFP), Dr. Meniol Jeune, expressed his appreciation of the participatory approach used by the facilitators and the quality of the exchanges between the participants. It intends to work to sensitize the educational actors on this theme and to promote the eradication of child labor.

Representatives of the Institute of Social Welfare and Research (IBESR) at this training, Peterson Cadet and Marckens Saint-Louis, propose to work on the definition of a training plan for the “protection peers” through sessions of restitution of the fundamental axes of the process of eradication of child labor.

Geslet Bordes, Child Protection Officer at UNICEF Haiti, expressed its satisfaction for the main tools already available on this theme. The knowledge gained during this workshop will be used to operationalize the action plan that will be prepared with the effective participation of MENFP and IBESR.

For quality, inclusive education in Haiti by 2030, let’s all say: “No to child labor, and yes to children in classrooms!”

152 schools received hygiene certification.

On November 21st, the hygiene certification ceremony of 152  schools took place at the Montana Hotel in Port-au-Prince.

Certification Ceremony of 152 Schools at the Montana Hotel in Port-au-Prince on 21 November 2017.

Certification Ceremony of 152 Schools at the Montana Hotel in Port-au-Prince on 21 November 2017.

This activity was organized by the Ministry of National Education in collaboration with the Ministry of Public Health and Population, DINEPA, UNICEF and several other partners including the Inter-American Development Bank.

The project/program officially launched in November 2014, aims at the constitution of a number of model schools, in hygiene, in each of the ten departments of the country. In order to receive their certification, the 152 schools had to comply with a number of standards and criteria related to hygiene, water and sanitation.

Deserving schools represented at the ceremony all demonstrated during the inspections that they had available toilets and latrines, handwashing points near the toilets, the availability of water for everyday use and that technical supervision was provided by school inspectors and engineers. School principals also presented their commitment and participation in hygiene education and the establishment of a functioning health club in their respective institutions.

New hygiene behaviors

Mrs. Emeline Rafael, director of the Lycée des Jeunes Filles of Jérémie.

Mrs. Emeline Rafael, director of the Lycée des Jeunes Filles of Jérémie.

“I find that there are a lot of differences because now we are trying to create new hygiene behaviors among students. Says Emeline Rafael, director of the Jérémie Young Women’s High School, just after receiving her plaque confirming the certification of her institution.

“They are given guidelines but it is up to them to manage their own health conditions, they are young teenagers from 11 to 12 years, they understand very well what we expect from them. They are asked to set up committees and give them instructions on hygiene. They are taught to have positive behaviors, to wash their hands after going to the bathroom if not, they do get sick and go out of school. If we are not in good health, we will not stay in school either, says the director.

“The certification of the schools is an absolute necessity. The analysis of the situation carried out in 2012 gives the following figures: 25% of Haitian schools have drinking water installation, 50% have functional toilets, 69% have handwashing station. 52% of them teach hygiene or promote it.” Said Mr. Marc Vincent, UNICEF Representative during his remarks.

13 schools supported by UNICEF

During this first evaluation in 2017, of the 17 certified schools in the departments of the Center and Artibonite, 13 are supported by UNICEF (9 in the Center and 4 in the Artibonite). 8 other schools in Artibonite are ready and awaiting evaluation for their certification.

The schools that UNICEF helped rebuild across the country, after the January 12 earthquake are all equipped with toilet blocks with possibility of collecting rainwater because the issue of water can be a challenge in some parts of the country. UNICEF also conducted hygiene awareness sessions for school staff and schoolchildren.

“This certification will help to make schools safer. Because of the insalubrity of some schools, they can become a threat to the health of children. School should be a protective environment. We know they are particularly vulnerable to microbes and the health of our children is a top priority, “said UNICEF Representative Marc Vincent.

Still a lot of effort

Despite the success of this program, there is still much work to be done. According to the latest available statistics, the pupil/toilet ratio in Haiti is currently 128, whereas the standards provide for 25 to 50 students per cabin. 72% of the Haitian population does not have access to adequate sanitation and 42% do not have adequate access to drinking water while access to health services is limited. Even though 20% of drinking water control in schools is provided by DINEPA, 73% of schools in the country still have no control over the quality of this water.

In this sense, through the representative of the Director General, Mr. Guito Edouard, DINEPA is committed to strengthening its collaboration in the project to enable the achievement of common objectives for the well-being of Haiti’s children.

All children have the same rights

Mr. Marc Vincent, UNICEF Representative during his address.

Mr. Marc Vincent, UNICEF Representative during his address.

“UNICEF places a lot of emphasis on equity that advocates for access to care and service for all children without distinction. All children have the same rights. These certified schools are in line with Sustainable Development Goals 3, 4 and 6, which refer to “good health and well-being, quality education, clean water and sanitation, respectively. We need to do a lot more, so that the SDGs, more than accounting goals, become a reality, “said UNICEF Representative Marc Vincent.

The project carried out by the School Health Department aimed to certify over 2 years, a minimum of 100 schools, (10 on average per department), from the point of view ” water, sanitation and hygiene “, so as to propose them as models at national level. With already 152 schools that have been awarded the certification, the country is on the right track.

Hygiene, keys to development

Mr. Charles Ernest Chatelier, Director General of the FAES, declared in front of the room: “Let’s all be friends of the hygiene because it is one of the keys of the development of the country.”

Establishments certified received a plaque of honor. This status will be reviewed every two or three years, after evaluation. A new sticker will then be affixed to the plate in case of maintenance of good hygiene practices. Other institutions will gradually be added to the list, at the level of each geographical department.

“We have to go beyond a simple project. We need to build better citizens, “said Pierre Josué Agénor Cadet, Minister of National Education.

Through this program, the Ministry of National Education intends to: make known and propose as models, at the national level, the certified schools; encourage principals, school staff, students, parents and the community to maintain schools, with the support of the School Health Department; to encourage the regular inspection of these schools from the physical, health and educational points of view; Encourage the establishment in these institutions of a health club made up of pupils and operating under the aegis of the Direction and / or the School Council; to show decision-makers and the general public that, as things stand, health is the best gateway to excellence and the quality of education.

The day of the child celebrated with great fanfare in Haiti

UNICEF Representative giving a certificate to a parent

Port-au-Prince, November 21, 2017 – The highest authorities in the country were present  to celebrate the Children’s Day, the anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, in Haiti. UNICEF, the Haitian government and local and international organizations have renewed the promise of creating a protective environment for the well-being of Haiti’s children.

The First lady holding a child

For this November 20th, the national theme is “YON FANMI POU CHAK TIMOUN” (A family for every child). The main activity of the day was the presentation of the certificate of accreditation for 76 host families. (49 will be newly accredited, and 27 will be renewed).

Among the personalities present, the First Lady of the Republic, Mrs. Martine Moïse; the Minister of Social Affairs and Labor, Mrs. Stéphanie Auguste; the Minister of Youth and Sports, Mrs. Régine Lamur; the Director of the Institute of Social Welfare and Research (IBESR), Mrs. Arielle Jeanty Villedrouin; UNICEF Representative in Haiti, Mr. Marc Vincent and Terre des Hommes representative / Lausanne, Mrs. Iceland Georges Cadet. We must also talk about the presence of children and key players in child protection in Haiti.

The anniversary of the CRC

“At UNICEF, this November 20th is also the most important day for the entire organization. For it celebrates the anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. We hope that this day will not only be a celebration, but that it will touch hearts and consciences with the goal of changing the situation of vulnerable children across the country, “said Mr. Marc Vincent, UNICEF Representative in Haiti.

He further congratulated the families participating in this program. “Today, UNICEF and its partners are committed to following up on these new accredited families, defending the process of ‘’de-institutionalization’’, and hope that more children in institutions, or children who are victims of other vulnerabilities are placed in a warm home, “he continued.

A young IBESR ambassador, Habrana Brizard, insisted on respecting all children’s rights without exception. “I’m not too young to learn that the challenges are big. However, I learned that life is a struggle, so fighting for what is good is an obligation, “she told the audience.

Identification of children, a crucial step

In her speech, Mrs. Martine Moïse, said that the accreditation of these host families is part of a significant advance. She took the opportunity to congratulate these families “who have agreed to give their time, their comforting presence, their love to participate validly in the integral and harmonious evolution of the children who need it”.

The First Lady thus recalled the importance of identifying children at birth, particularly through the ” konte m, mwen konte ” initiative in hospitals. “It decreases the risk of being trafficked and other forms of exploitation. Pyès ti moun pa dwe pitimi san gado (no child should be raised alone), “she said, pointing out that the President of the Republic, his Excellency, Mr. Jovenel Moïse, has the ambition that all children have a number and that they will be raised in a family as this will make family safety and child protection programs more effective.

Celebration of the Convention on the Rights of the Child: Put the respect of children’s rights as a priority

 

The main partners in child Protection were present

Port-au-Prince, November 20, 2017- On the anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, celebrated this Monday around the world, UNICEF reiterates its wish to see every child in a family. Thus, UNICEF supports the Institute of Social Welfare and Research (IBESR) for the realization of the week of childhood. The national theme is “YON FANMI POU CHAK TIMOUN” (A family for every child).

As is the case each year, UNICEF’s goal this week is to focus on the right of every child to physical, mental and emotional well-being. The organization calls for putting the respect of children’s rights at the center of public attention.

With a focus on the vital role families play in child development, UNICEF has been working together with IBESR and the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor (MAST) on Monday, 20 November, as well as others. partners, to certify 76 host families. The first Lady, Mrs. Martine Moïse, attended the ceremony.

“UNICEF supports all efforts to reduce the number of children placed in institutions. The place of a child is in the family, biological or host. This allows the kid to develop his full potential. “Says Marc Vincent, UNICEF Representative in Haiti. “UNICEF supports the Haitian government for the well-being of all children in Haiti.”

In the same vein, on 21 November, was held the certification ceremony of ‘Friendly Schools of Hygiene’ in partnership with the Ministry of National Education and Vocational Training, the Ministry of Public Health and Population as well as other partners. Good hygiene conditions within the school are an important contribution to children’s learning. Of the 17 schools certified in the departments of the Center and Artibonite, 13 are supported by UNICEF.

Yes, to Participation

Beyond the actions dedicated to protection, survival and education, UNICEF will undertake a series of activities during the week of November 20th to promote the voice of children and adolescents. Participation being the fourth pillar of the CRC the goal is to communicate with, for and through children. Children’s voices will be shared through social media, WhatsApp and the UNICEF Blog.

No to violence

Throughout the week of November 20, short opinion videos on everyday violence, “voxpops,” will be shared on WhatsApp and social media as UNICEF works for “One Family Without Violence for Every Child.” In the same logic is planned a workshop on violence and resilience which will be followed by a graduation to the first group of stakeholders trained in emotional intelligence and personal leadership.

A series of musical pieces for children, composed and performed by the renowned Haitian artist Jean-Jean Roosevelt, will be launched online as well as the music video ‘Pou chak timoun’ (For each child). Come follow us live on http://timounyo.com/

CRC an important text for the rights of the child

In 54 articles and two Optional Protocols, the Convention sets out the fundamental rights of all children in the world: the right to survival; the right to develop as far as possible; the right to be protected from harmful influences, abuse and exploitation; and to participate fully in family, cultural and social life.

The four basic principles of the Convention are non-discrimination; the priority given to the best interests of the child; the right to live, to survive and to develop; and respect for the views of the child. All rights recognized in the Convention are inherent in the human dignity and harmonious development of every child. The Convention protects the rights of children by setting standards for health care, education and legal, civil and social services.

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After being diagnosed for malnutrition, Wisedarlene is getting better, 10 months after

A psychosocial activity, part of the program

Following Hurricane Matthew, which devastated the Department of Grand’Anse, UNICEF, with funding from the European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO), supports the Ministry of Public Health and Population (MSPP), through local organizations, to help children suffering from malnutrition.

Through the Foundation for the Development and Supervision of Haitian Families (FONDEFH), several hundred children from the Department of Grand’Anse, from 0 to 59 months, have benefited various nutritional care. This care which varies regarding the diagnosed cases and the community context, can either take the form of community awareness activities for parents on infant and young child feeding practices, or consist of: the provision of micronutrients for the prevention of malnutrition, or therapeutic milk and plumpy nut for management and treatment.

On the other hand, with the Departmental Initiative against Child Trafficking (IDETTE), a follow-up is done to provide socio-economic assistance to the families of diagnosed children, through income-generating activities (IGAs), home visits, and psychosocial support.

Story of Wisedarlene

A training against violence

Lineda Jean lives in Bariadelle, a small locality, close to the town of Dame Marie (Grand’Anse). A mother of three, including little Wisedarlène, she still remembers this trip to the Dame Marie Community Hospital to take her daughter, spotted by the community-based health workers (CHWs).

She still remembers the date of the hospitalization of her little Wisedarlène born on December 23rd, 2016, then aged 5 months: “It was May 19, 2017, I went with her to the hospital because she was sick, she had fever and flu. The agents who referred me to the hospital had notified me that the child was going to be hospitalized, because it was only 4 kilos, incompatible with his age, “she says.

After 12 days of hospitalization, Wisedarlène, who was suffering from severe acute malnutrition, weighed 5.5 kilos upon leaving the hospital. Weight still insufficient, but that situation satisfied her mother at that time who does not want to miss any of the appointments scheduled by the medical staff. “I have to go to the hospital every eight days to follow Wisedarlène’s progress (take his weight and measure his MUAC) and get the 18 packets of plumpy nut”. Currently, “Wisedarlène (10 months) is 7.4 kilos,” she concludes, almost double what she weighed 5 months ago.

Lineda Jean continues to look after her daughter’s well-being by regularly going to her appointments, continuing her breastfeeding, and following the advice of doctors and nurses for her nutrition. She considers herself happy and testifies: “I am very satisfied to have had this opportunity that other parents do not have it”. With the support provided by IDETTE through its AGR program, Lineda, a single mother, now has a financial activity selling soft drinks. This allows him to partially meet the needs of his family.

UNICEF, with the support of its donors, including ECHO, continues to contribute to the respect of children’s rights and the improvement of the living conditions of families, including those living in rural areas, and victims of natural disasters.

 

 

 

The Deputy Secretary General of the UN and the Special Envoy for Haiti visit UNICEF’s Cholera frontline teams

The DSG visiting a family in L’Artibonite (Haiti)

 

 

 

The Deputy Secretary General of the UN and the Special Envoy for Haiti visit UNICEF’s Cholera frontline teams

Haiti, St Michel-de-l’Atalaye, November 4th 2017 – On the occasion of a three-day visit to Haiti, the United Nations Deputy Secretary-General (DSG), Ms. Amina J. Mohammed and the United Nations Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Haiti, Ms. Josette Sheeran, visited UNICEF supported cholera and sanitation projects in the Artibonite department. Accompanied by UNICEF Representative Marc Vincent and other members of the office, the visitors came to witness an approach that combines rapid response with prevention in the fight against cholera, and which has yielded promising results over the past two years. The country is now seeing the lowest number of cases since the beginning of the epidemic in 2010. Yet much remains to be done.

According to latest DINEPA data, 72 percent of the Haitian population does not have access to adequate sanitation and 42 percent lacks adequate access to safe water while access to health care services is limited. One of the locations where access to water, sanitation and health care remains a challenge is Saint-Michel-de-l’Atalaye, one of the epidemic’s current hotspots and the destination of the field visit.

Upon arrival by helicopter, the delegation first visited a centre for the treatment of cholera and acute diarrhoea, and received a briefing from Ministry of health staff. Six patients, including two children were present showing the human face of the cholera bacteria. The visit left no doubt—one death from cholera, is one too much.

Following the treatment centre the delegation went on to observe the work of a rapid response team, managed by UNICEF partner Action against hunger. Within 48 hours after a suspected case of cholera is identified, teams decontaminate the affected household and those in its immediate vicinity, deliver emergency cholera packages—comprised of water purification tablets, ORS, and other hygiene products—and conduct sensitization/education outreach. The Special Envoy for Haiti has noted on a number of occasions, most recently with the Prime Minister of Haiti, that it is this innovative approach that has led to the dramatic reduction in the transmission of cholera. “These are the true heroes,” underlined the SE.

The visit concluded at the village of Peltam, one of the first communities to declare itself free from open-defecation. The UNICEF-supported Community Approach to Total Sanitation (ACAT), accompanies families in 16 high risk communes to eliminate open defecation. Its success is based on the commitment of the local population, especially their hygiene committee. Peltam’s hygiene committee is special – not only does it have an equal number of women and men, it also has two children as members.  “I wanted to do something for our future, and the hygiene committee allows me to get things done,” explains Adziz; who just turned 14. “In a couple of years, you will be seen as heroes.” Said Ms Mohammed. “The present is hard, but if you keep up the hard work it will pay off.”

Tackling cholera requires an integrated package. Surveillance, response and prevention, all three must be in place, and their respective weight adjusted in view of the evolving situation.

“2018 offers a unique opportunity for decisive steps in the battle against cholera”, stressed UNICEF Representative Marc Vincent. Cholera transmission has dropped dramatically from over 18,000 new cases per week at the onset of the epidemic to 250 per week this year, yet eliminating cholera will require more funding

“An average of between 150 and 250 women, children and men continue to be infected every week. We can and must stop this.” It appears that all major players agree on this.

On the first day of the visit, a High-Level Cholera Committee meeting was organized. The meeting served as an occasion for the Haitian Government and the UN representatives to jointly express their determination to achieve zero transmission of cholera. They reiterated their commitment to achieving the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals, including improving access to water, sanitation and healthcare.

At the conclusion of her trip, the DSG noted that “In our visit we saw community efforts by women, men and young people—some very young—who are involved in fighting cholera every day on the front lines. They are driving their own solutions, and together addressing the challenges of accessing water and sanitation. We saw this yesterday in Saint-Michel-de-l’Atalaye, where the community has empowered itself and come up with its own solutions to accessing sanitation by building toilets in many homes and in community spaces, and by supporting people who fall victim to cholera. When they succeed together, even on a small scale, it shows that they and we together can also succeed on a large scale—for all Haitians. They are the real heroes, and we must support them to end cholera in Haiti,” emphasized the DSG.

 

Using ‘’ Facts for life” through popular songs

A choregraphy with ”Facts for life ” themes

On Saturday, October 14th, in the margins of the celebration of the “Global Handwashing Day”, the Gymnasium Vincent (Port-au-Prince) was celebrating an important event for the good of the children: the launch of an album songs inspired by the manual “Facts for life” (“Konesans pou sove lavi”).

Taking into account the playful aspect of singing, its capacity to gather and to raise people’s awareness, beyond differences, this medium has been privileged to convey essential family practices to a large number of people.

Nearly 200 children from the “Orchid” group sang, danced and mimed the key messages contained in the 14 chapters of the document “Konesans pou sove lavi” through the festival called “A la bèl bagay se lasante” (Health is a beautiful thing).

The show was divided into two parts:

-That of singing on the rights of the child has seen nearly fifty children from several schools in the square and who shone one by one the rights of the child by turning in a circle.

– the second part featured a group of children dressed in peasant dress and carrying various provisions on their heads while dancing to the rhythm of the song on nutrition “Three kind of eats”. The room vibrated to the rhythm of the choreography of the tube music from the album “ala bel bagay se lasante” performed by children wearing different style outfits.

However, in the opinion of all, the performances were some more magnificent than the others and the actors outdid themselves to offer a colorful show that raised a collective enthusiasm communicative.

It should be noted that the idea of preparing an album of songs is part of a global strategy to promote essential family practices for the promotion of health and child development. These songs will be used primarily in the health clubs that are an integral part of this strategy and during the realization of various awareness activities.

In general, this album of songs is intended to be an important contribution to the Haitian community in its quest to have healthy Haitian children. It was designed in collaboration with the Ministry of Public Health and Population to ensure that the messages on health and child development it contains are culturally accessible to all segments of the population. Note that the album was produced by the group “Hi” thanks to financial support from UNICEF in the framework of a partnership with the Institute Preventive Health, Environmental, and Community (SPEC).