On October 4, 2016, Hurricane Matthew devastated parts of Haiti, affecting more than 2.1 million people. Among those in dire need are 546,000 women and girls of reproductive age, including over 13,650 pregnant women. Without access to reproductive health services, they face an increased risk of life-threatening complications
Currently, Haiti has the highest maternal mortality rate in the Western Hemisphere and as a result of this recent disaster the rate is at risk of climbing. Among the population affected by the hurricane, 13,650 women may give birth in next 3 months without sufficient access to healthcare. 23 health centers have been affected with extensive damage and for some total destruction of several maternal health facilities. Cholera cases have tripled in some areas, which poses a threat to pregnant women.
In order to combat the current crisis in Haiti, UNFPA will be providing: reproductive health kits including kits for the clinical treatment of rape to 36 one-stop health centers staffed by UNFPA-trained midwives for 17,000 pregnant women; 2450 dignity kits; 1000 cooking kits; and 1000 emergency food kits to women and girls of reproductive age. This will ensure that the 546,000 women and girls of reproductive age are provided with the necessary care during this time.
Maternal mortality in Haiti was the highest in the Western hemisphere prior to the hurricane (359 per 100,000 live births). Maternal death is now in danger of rapidly increasing in the areas affected by the hurricane. Our goal with these relief efforts is to ensure that this rate does not continue to rise during this crisis. The long-term effects of our efforts will not only prevent these numbers from dramatically increasing, but will ultimately lead to a decrease in the maternal mortality rate.