Haiti Symposium Unites Over 80 Nonprofits Working to Fight Undernutrition

Co-hosted by Vitamin Angels and the Haitian Ministry of Health, the one-day symposium fostered collaboration to better serve at-risk women and children

By Amber McEldowney

Port-au-Prince, Haiti 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.

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. 

“Our goal was to bring together our partner organizations with others equally committed to tackling undernutrition and reaching those most at risk in Haiti,” said Elizabeth Carrera, Program Manager, Latin America and the Caribbean, Vitamin Angels.  “We look forward to the collaborations and partnerships taking place as a result of this event.”

 

 

Though outreach has brought modest improvement in recent years, about half of Haiti’s total population remains undernourished. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 48 percent of pregnant women are anemic in Haiti, which can increase the risk of complications during pregnancy. As a result, Vitamin Angels recently signed an agreement with the Ministry of Health to coordinate efforts with the Haitian government and NGOs to expand the distribution of prenatal multivitamins to expectant mothers. Haiti is one of the first countries to accept the introduction of prenatal multivitamins as the primary intervention, with most other countries providing iron and folic acid supplements only.

Dr. Minaud Dacius, Consultant and Program Manager, Haiti

"Together, Vitamin Angels and the Ministry of Health have vowed to change the paradigm,” said Dr. Minaud Dacius, Consultant and Program Manager, Haiti, Vitamin Angels. “We can drastically decrease the burden of vitamin A, iron, zinc and iodine deficiencies if we better coordinate our individual efforts. Together, we certainly can do more!"

This partnership supports Vitamin Angels’ newly announced goal to expand its prenatal multivitamin outreach to 50 million women per year by 2030. This expansion complements Vitamin Angels’ longstanding vitamin A and deworming supplementation programs for preschool-aged children.

Vitamin Angels helps at-risk populations in need—specifically pregnant women, new mothers, and children under five—gain access to lifesaving and life changing vitamins and minerals. Vitamin Angels works to reach underserved communities across the U.S. and in 74 countries around the world. Vitamin Angels has the highest ratings for financial transparency and accountability from Charity Navigator and GuideStar. To learn more, visit vitaminangels.org.

UP