UNICEF is strengthening Leogane’s maternity

From Left to Right :
Dr. Marie Greta Roy Clement (Minister of Public Health)
Martine Moïse (First Lady of the Republic)

The child and maternal mortality rate in Haiti is one of the highest in the region. Many of these cases are recorded in hard-to-reach areas where, due to a lack of services, pregnant women are losing lives. The Ministry of Public Health and Population (MSPP), with the support of partners such as UNICEF, UNFPA, UNNOPS, Canada, intends to respond adequately to this situation. One of the most effective means is the implantation of SONUB clinics (Neonatal Emergency Obstetric Care).

On Tuesday August, 1st, the MSPP, together with the technical and financial partners, inaugurated a SONUB clinic in Léogâne in the presence of the First Lady of the Republic, Mrs. Martine Moise and the Minister of Public Health, Dr. Marie Greta Roy Clement. The community mobilized and made the trip to attend this event that will change the lives of pregnant women.

UNOPS has been responsible for the construction of the infrastructure, UNFPA for the training of midwives, and UNICEF has been responsible for the procurement of medical equipment and tools for these units.

Among the services available within SONUB; Health education, prenatal counseling, immunization, post-natal counseling, family planning, neonatal resuscitation.

Saving women’s lives

In front of the new SONUB clinic of Leogane

“Unfortunately, quite often, childbirths turn into tragedies sowing mourning and consternation, especially when care structures are not appropriate. The right to health is more than a necessity, it is an obligation. It is therefore time for us, constituted state authorities to gather our forces and mobilize our energies, so that health indicators in Haiti are less alarming. The Haitian government is committed to reduce maternal and neonatal mortality. You have to now that you have my full support, “said First Lady Martine Moise.

Minister of Health, Dr. Marie Greta Roy Clement, highlighted the Health-related Sustainable Development Goal (SDG # 3). “To achieve this, among other things, the country will have to reduce the maternal mortality rate to below 70 per 100,000 live births by 2030, compared with about 350 per 100,000 live births by 2030” , The minister said.

She also promised toward the members of the community that the MSPP would do its utmost to ensure that people had access to good quality care within the maternity ward. “With the departure of MSF Switzerland at the end of 2015, approximately 6,000 expected pregnant women no longer have access to reproductive health services. Thanks to the technical and financial support of the international community, the community of Leogane and its surroundings have a new centre meeting reflecting the standards of the MSPP which will offer its services in a more permanent way”, she said.

UNICEF is still supporting maternal health

Marc Vincent, UNICEF Haiti Representative, during his speech

Marc Vincent, UNICEF Haiti Representative, recalled that the health of pregnant women and the guarantee of safe and healthy childbirth is a crucial issue, as it affects the lives of new-borns and their mothers.

“UNICEF has joined the MSPP in the fight to reduce maternal and neonatal mortality, and all of these actions are converging to ensure better health conditions for women and their new-borns. Reducing this mortality is one of UNICEF’s commitments to ensure the proper care of pregnant women before and during childbirth”, he said.

Many SONUB clinics are already working throughout the country and the implied partners are by now anticipating some other inaugurations.

Jean Panel FANFAN

This post is also available in: French