Our Maternity and Paediatric services, opened in April 2012, have continued to increase in use over the last few months, saving the lives of women and children by bringing pregnancy, childbirth, neonatal and paediatric care to some of the poorest communities in Haiti.
The mobile maternal health clinic has been operating in target communities twice a month and is now seeing an average of 80 women per clinic day. The majority of these are now for repeat antenatal visits, demonstrating that more women are taking the opportunity to access the recommended four antenatal visits; according to recent UNFPA statistics, 85% of women in Haiti attend one antenatal appointment, but only 54% return for more than one.
The number of surgically-assisted births (caesarean sections) presented at the hospital unit has increased since opening, from 42% of the deliveries in the first month to 58% in July 2012, as has the use of the neonatal unit for premature and complicated births. We are receiving referrals from other hospitals – both Government and private facilities – from throughout the region, and even beyond it in some cases. The reputation for high-quality neonatal, premature baby care, supported by excellent facilities and the only functional incubators in the region, is one which is increasing and of which we are very proud.
The hospital unit has seen 905 women for pre-natal appointments between March and August 2012, an average of 150 appointments per month. The number of women attending pre-natal appointments has been increasing steadily month-by-month, from 28 in March to 109 in August, so it can be anticipated that this trend will continue, as the service increases its presence in the target communities through positive feedback from previous clients.
Since the paediatric unit opened it has steadily been treating increasing numbers of patients, reaching 267 during September – an average of almost 9 patients per day, in a ten bed facility. The highest number of patients seen are in the 2-5 years age bracket, which is the critical age for the danger of death due to childhood illness. The majority of the treatments are for diarrheal disease and rheumatic illness; both of which have been identified as the leading causes of under-5 mortality, respectively accounting for 16% and 20% of child death, in Haiti.
We can't explain how grateful we are that you continue to support us, so that we can keep these vital services available to the communities in and around Cap Haitian, in Northern Haiti.