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Calls To Improve Haiti's Health Care System

 NEW YORK - Haiti has a disjointed, dysfunctional health system incapable of responding to the needs of the Haitian population, with a `mish mosh` of service providers and services that are unequal and uneven.

That was revealed recently at a three-day health conference in Haiti sponsored by the National-Haitian American Health Alliance (NHAHA). The conference was highlighting the need for a coordinated country-wide plan to build a solid infrastructure in Haiti to bring adequate housing, clean water, and a functional sewage system and health access to all Haitians, including the ones living in the most rural areas, when news of the cholera outbreak occurred.

NHAHA concluded that unless the country`s infrastructure as a whole is improved, and the capacity of the Ministry of Health is strengthened, `we will continue to put out fires and our fellow Haitians will continue to die in the same conditions.`

Especially since officials posited that the conditions that led to the cholera outbreak in St. Marc were the same in every other part of the country.

A Ministry of Health official, Dr. Francois reassured the conference participants that `the Ministry of Health is doing everything in its power to prevent and contain the cholera outbreak.`  However, many of the local officials and managers had to leave the conference to respond to the crisis, and attend to their constituents. 

The conference saw attendance from 200 participants including the Minister of Health and key members of his staff, along with the Minister of the Diaspora.  In addition, conference attendees included policymakers, service providers and researchers, both from Haiti and the U.S. who gathered and discussed strategies for improving Haiti`s health system. 

NHAHA`s mission is to improve the health and welfare of Haitians through coordinated resources, information sharing and capacity building. The NHAHA 7th annual conference provided a rare opportunity for the Diaspora, the international community and the Ministry of Health to present their views, share their efforts and challenges and look at system change. 


STORY TAGS: BLACK , AFRICAN AMERICAN , MINORITY , CIVIL RIGHTS , DISCRIMINATION , RACISM , NAACP , URBAN LEAGUE , RACIAL EQUALITY , BIAS , EQUALITY

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