Konbit Sante partners with health-care facilities in northern Haiti to improve the quality of care provided to the large population there. One partner is the neonatal service at Justinian University Hospital in Cap-Haitien, the second-largest public hospital in the country and the public referral center for more than 1 million people. This project focuses on the procurement and management of essential emergency medicines and medical supplies needed to save the lives of newborns.
Essential medicines or supplies in Haiti are not always available when needed due to lack of financial resources and an undependable supply chain. Even in emergency situations, patients' family members are expected to ask friends and family to contribute money and scour local pharmacies for supplies, losing valuable time. Our aim is to help this major Haitian health-care facility save the lives of newborns by having a list of critical materials available when and where they are needed.
We have worked with the leadership of Justinian University Hospital pediatric service to identify specific medications and supplies needed to respond to emergency situations with newborns, and created a procurement plan to assure they can be on hand at all times. The medicines are purchased in the most cost-effective manner possible. We estimate that preventing ruptures of essential medicines and supplies for this 60-bed unit will cost about $15,000 annually.
The support for essential medicines and supplies in the pediatric service of the large public hospital alone has already contributed to a cut in newborn deaths by more than 50%. As we continue to support improvements in care with efforts such as this, we expect that the mortality rate can be cut in half again.