Vitamin Angels Aims to Expand its Programs to Reach all Pregnant Mothers in Haiti
On average, governments are able to reach around 70% of their populations, but about half of the population in Haiti has no access to basic health services at all. As in many countries, the Ministry of Health in Haiti isn’t currently providing prenatal multivitamins, and unfortunately, they are not providing any supplementation to pregnant women. Because of our close relationship with the Ministry of Health, however, Vitamin Angels is proud to announce that we have recently signed an agreement to reach all pregnant women in Haiti, both through our NGO field partners and Ministry of Health facilities.
Vitamin A and Deworming for Children Under 5
According to statistics provided to the World Health Organization (WHO), 32% of all preschool-age children in Haiti are vitamin A deficient. This has caused the WHO to classify VAD as a severe public health problem in Haiti. Vitamin A deficiency can cause a weakened immune system, blindness, and death. Families in Haiti who are struggling with food insecurity are at risk for Vitamin A deficiency because purchasing or growing vitamin A-rich foods isn’t always possible. Government healthcare programs report reaching an average of only 21.4% of the country’s children under five with vitamin A supplementation and only 23% of the children under five with albendazole (deworming). This is where Vitamin Angels and our network of field partners work to fill the gaps and deliver Vitamin A and albendazole, particularly in departments such as the West, South, and Southeast that experience coverage rates below the national average.
Haiti Micronutrient Symposium
Vitamin Angels and the Haitian Ministry of Health recently hosted more than 80 non-governmental organizations (NGOs) for a symposium addressing undernutrition among the country’s most vulnerable pregnant women and young children. Led by Dr. Minaud Dacius, the one-day symposium offered learning sessions on strategies and interventions to address life-threatening vitamin and mineral deficiencies. Sessions featured experts from international organizations including UNICEF, Partners in Health, and USAID. The symposium also served as a forum for NGOs to connect with the Ministry of Health on how to better evaluate and improve existing public health interventions to the Haitian population.