Newly Reopened Health Facility in Haiti Allows Women to Deliver Safely Closer to Home

Newly Reopened Health Facility in Haiti Allows Women to Deliver Safely Closer to Home

 {Photo by Aurélie Jousset.}Elina Jean-Baptiste and her newborn daughter, Dadeline who was at the Cazale following its reopening.Photo by Aurélie Jousset.

On July 4, 2013, 26-year-old Elina Jean-Baptiste of Cazale, Haiti began experiencing painful contractions as she prepared to deliver her child. Realizing she was going into labor, Elina walked to the Cazale health center and with the help of trained nurses and a doctor, delivered a healthy baby girl named Dadeline. “The labor and delivery were very painful, but as soon as I arrived at Cazale, I knew I was in good hands,” she said.

For the past decade, the town of Cazale has lacked a functioning health center despite high rates of maternal and infant mortality and increasing rates of infectious diseases. Women often delivered at home in the absence of a skilled healthcare provider, thus increasing their risk of injury or death due to pregnancy-related complications. 

Two of the MSH-led projects in Haiti, the USAID-funded Santé pour le Développement et la Stabilité d’Haïti (SDSH) and Leadership, Management, and Governance (LMG) projects, joined forces to help the Cazale health center reopen its doors. The facility is now providing a basic package of quality health care services to its community of 8,800 people. Working in collaboration with the Ministry of Health, the MSH-led projects provided laboratory equipment and materials designed to improve maternal and newborn health care. SDSH and LMG staff have worked jointly to organize the delivery of health services and supported data management at Cazale.  

Launched in 2007, the USAID-funded SDSH project has helped 164 health facilities improve access to quality services focused on maternal, newborn, and child health, family planning and reproductive health, and prevention, detection, care, and treatment of HIV & AIDS and tuberculosis. Since 2012, LMG has strengthened the capacity of the Ministry of Public Health and Population to strengthen its capacity to manage all sources of funding and to strengthen national referral networks.

Since reopening in May 2013, the Cazale center has helped several women safely deliver their babies. In the coming months, SDSH and LMG will assist Cazale in making TB treatment and diagnostic services widely available.

“The reopening of Cazale means a lot,” said Elina. “Here I just had to get out of my house and walk to the health facility. Previously, I would have had to pay for a tap-tap, which is expensive.”