Haiti Study Tour: Recognizing Health Progress

Haiti Study Tour: Recognizing Health Progress

 {Photo credit: Maureen Taft-Morales/Haiti}A community health worker visits a family and records health data.Photo credit: Maureen Taft-Morales/Haiti

This post is part of MSH's Global Health Impact Blog series, Improving Health in Haiti: Remember, Rebuild.

Management Sciences for Health (MSH) sponsored a Congressional Staff Study Tour in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, in December 2014 to help staffers get a first-hand account of health progress in Haiti. The overarching focus of the trip was how US government funded health efforts in Haiti are being leveraged for health impact and the role of the Haitian government in that process. 

The five-year anniversary of the Haitian earthquake (January 12) has brought the country's rebuilding efforts to the forefront of international development conversations again. Unfortunately, much of the post-earthquake development dialogue has focused on the setbacks and delays of large-scale infrastructure and rebuilding projects without considering sectors such as health that have made relative progress. Greater awareness is needed among US decision makers and the press to disaggregate the good from the bad and to recognize the Haitian Ministry of Public Health and Population’s health systems progress in partnership with organizations like MSH.

The staffers had a packed schedule each day (Recaps: Day 5, Day 4, Day 3, Day 2, Day 1). Through meetings with local leaders and implementers, tours of US and non-US supported project sites, and visits to local health facilities and communities, the trip  demonstrates the work still to be done while celebrating the progress made to achieve a healthy future in Haiti. Some activities of note included meetings with the Haitian Minister of Public Health and Population, the US Ambassador to Haiti, and US Agency for International Development (USAID)/Haiti staff and site visits to an urban community health center, multi-drug resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) hospital, and the State University of Haiti Hospital (HUEH). (For the full schedule, click here).

Haiti Study Tour in Photos

More from the Haiti Study Tour blog

{Photo credit: Crystal Lander/MSH.}Photo credit: Crystal Lander/MSH.

What is a Community Health Center (CHC) Anyway?

[A community health worker weighs a baby.] {Photo credit: Crystal Lander/MSH}A community health worker weighs a baby.Photo credit: Crystal Lander/MSH

Walk a Mile in Her Shoes

Why Study Tours Matter

Learning trips like this one are key for global health advocacy: they educate and engage Congress on global health issues and provide staffers with the opportunity to witness US development investments firsthand.

Next Steps: Haiti Health Summit: January 29

Now that we’ve returned, we are building on the knowledge gained and lessons learned from the tour to host debrief meetings with the NGO community and on Capitol Hill, including hosting with partners a full-day policy summit on Haiti’s health progresses, followed by a reception celebrating Haitian culture, collaboration, and future of health in Haiti.

We hope you can join us for the January 29 summit and reception in Washington, DC.


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