At public hospitals, malfunctioning equipment and a shortage of items used in dialysis mean that patient treatments are likely to be infrequent; costs at private hospitals are prohibitive. In a society that relies on imports of unhealthy processed foods and that has suffered a string of natural disasters, many people have diabetes and hypertension, the chief causes of kidney disease.
When faced with a choice of going to a public hospital where poor care is common, many women are opting to self-medicate and see traditional midwives instead. Health professionals are working to increase awareness and improve care.
In Haiti’s struggling economy and tough job market, selling prescription drugs illegally has become an attractive option – especially since street vendors operate with impunity. But the lower prices and more flexible purchasing options that street vendors provide come at a cost as consumers increasingly forgo pharmacies and formal medical treatment.
In the midst of a food shortage, Haiti’s government is drafting plans and implementing new policies to support the country’s large population of farmers. But the farmers, who struggle to maintain their crops with outdated technology and the threat of natural disaster, say the effort isn’t enough.
In Haiti, most children in orphanages have at least one living relative, but no family members able to care for them. That is true of all the children at one community-based private orphanage in Titanyen.
In rural Haiti, a lack of quality schools and instruction contributes to a generational cycle of illiteracy, and parents are often unable to help their children with schoolwork. One small volunteer group started by a local health care worker is stepping in to interrupt that cycle by teaming university students with local students for Saturday tutoring sessions.