World Bank urges Haiti to spend more on Health Care

June 29, 2017
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A new World Bank report reveals that the health sector needs a higher level of public investment and a better allocation of resources to improve access to health for all Haitians.

The report, entitled "Better spending, better attention: a look at health financing in Haiti," underscores that public expenditure per capita on health is US $ 13 per year, below the US $ 15 average in low Income Countries and much less than the average among its neighbors, such as the Dominican Republic (US $ 180) and Cuba (US $ 781). In addition, although there has been a significant increase in funding from NGOs and the international community since the earthquake, this financing is steadily declining, placing doubts on the sustainability of investments in the sector.

Taking into account the recurrent emergencies that hit the country, more than half of total health spending is directed to curative rather than preventive care. In fact, 38 per cent of total health spending goes to the hospital sector, mostly due to the high number of hospitals, a figure well above countries like Burundi (23 per cent) or Tanzania (26 per cent). Hospitals often lack the equipment to provide the necessary care, and the current level of expenditure has not led to increased provision of services. The cost of inpatient care is much higher than in primary health care facilities. The ratio of clinics per inhabitant nationwide is 0.3 per 10,000, well below the standard established by the Ministry of Public Health and Population of Haiti.

"The decline in international aid means that unless primary health care is given priority through greater access to essential treatments for those most in need, universal health coverage will not be possible," said Eleonora Cavagnero, Health Economist for Haiti, and lead author of the report.

Life expectancy increased, and maternal and child mortality was halved between 1990 and 2015. However, Haiti remains vulnerable to a number of health challenges: the maternal and infant mortality rate is four to five times higher than in the rest of Latin America and the Caribbean. Only 68 percent of children younger than 24 months received the three vaccines that prevent diphtheria, tetanus, and whooping cough, compared to 80 percent in similar-income countries.

The World Bank's special envoy for Haiti, Mary A. Barton-Dock, notes that "no investments have been made in areas that require them. Under the current framework of significant budgetary constraints, what is needed is a results-oriented financing mechanism to make the health system more efficient and equitable. "

The report proposes options for achieving better health care by improving spending, as well as health coverage among the poorest:

Increasing public spending on health : Despite the country's health needs, the public health budget has declined significantly in the last twelve years, falling from 16.6 percent of the national budget in 2004 (above average for Latin America and the Caribbean) to 4.4 percent of the current budget. Due to the sharp reduction in donor funding that has taken place in recent years, the government must project an immediate increase in public spending on health and improve the coordination of international aid. The creation of excise taxes - on tobacco and alcohol, for example - could help raise funds for the health sector.

Prioritize primary and preventive health care : this involves redirecting funds to primary care, prioritizing and calculating the cost within the current Master Health Plan. Underpinning the provision of primary and preventive health care services would be of great help in reducing the main causes of mortality in Haiti. Development partners should finance the technical assistance necessary for hospitals to achieve financial viability, strengthen existing infrastructure, and implement a licensing policy. This shift in investments to the health sector should be empirically based.

Improve equitable access to quality health care : this will be achieved by mapping health facilities, reclassifying them to improve their operational capacity and establishing a functional referral network. This reclassification will help improve the distribution of medical equipment and drugs. A policy should be pursued to promote more equitable geographical access to primary health services. Among those households that did not consult a health professional, 49 percent said they did not do it for financial reasons. This policy also promises to improve the efficiency and profitability of the delivery of primary health services by linking the financing of personnel and health institutions with the results.

US removed Haiti from black list of human trafficking countries

June 27, 2017
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The United States has removed Haiti from its black list of countries that do not do enough to combat human trafficking; while adding China, Russia and others to the infamous list that could lead to countries included being sanctioned. Such as freezing of non-humanitarian and non-commercial aid or refusing to receive loans from multilateral institutions

Haiti was added to the list last year by the US State Department, but the commitment to fight human trafficking which President Moise personall...

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Three Haitian police officers summoned for human rights violations

June 26, 2017
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The General Directorate of the Haitian National Police (DgPnh) has summoned three policemen for human rights violations, committed on two individuals arrested on Thursday, June 22, 2017, on the charge of having participated, along with 3 other accomplices, to a gang rape of 16-year-old minor in January 2017.

The DgPnh, in a note, disapproves "with firmness, these deviant behaviors, which do not correspond to the image of this professional police, which we want to build for the country".

An inve...

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Six major textile employers threaten to leave Haiti over wage increase demand

June 26, 2017
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Because they find that their companies face a loss of production valued at several million dollars since the beginning of protests by unions demanding 800 gourdes of minimum wage per day,($12.47) six employers of the textile sector solicit the intervention of the Prime Minister . If nothing is done, they threaten to settle elsewhere.

The Willbes Haitian S.A; MGA Haiti S.A; Astro Carton d'Haiti S.A; Haiti Cheung Won S.A; Textile Youm Kwang S.A and Pacific Sports Haïti S.A, all companies in th...

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U.N Security Council's three days visit in Haiti, clouds by UN failure on cholera epidemic

June 25, 2017
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The United Nations Security Council, led by the Permanent Representative of Bolivia and current President of the Council, Sacha Sergio Llorrenti, wrapped up its three days visit in Haiti on Saturday June 24th.

During the visit, the Council delegation met with President Jovenel Moïse, member of his Cabinet, parliamentarians, national police, judicial officials, and civil society and private-sector representatives.

 “I am glad to report that the objectives of the visit were met,” Sacha Sergi...

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Haiti imposes visa restrictions on citizens from Dominican Republic, Cuba, China, Colombia and Panama

June 24, 2017
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 All foreigners from the Dominican Republic, Cuba, China (Peking), Colombia and Panama who wish to visit Haiti are from now on required to obtain a visa before their arrival in the territory.

This was informed by the Immigration and Emigration Directorate of the Haitian Ministry of the Interior.

"However, if they are holders of a US, Canadian or Schengen visa, this procedure can be dispensed with," says the note that threatened with sanctions provided by law in the matter to anyone who violates...

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Mass protest throughout Haiti to greet arrival of U.N Security Council and to reject new UN mission MINUSJUSTH

June 24, 2017
The UN does not have the sympathies of Haitians.

The arrival of the United Nations Security Council in Haiti on Thursday to discuss the transition of the current UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) into the Mission for Support to Justice (MINUSJUSTH) has sparked a series of mass protests throughout the country.

Thousands of people gathered in front of the United Nations headquarters in downtown Port-au-Prince, as President Jovenel Moise met with the delegation of the Security Council.

The presence of United Nations troops in Haiti si...

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U.N Security Council arrived in Haiti to discuss transition of MINUSTAH to MINUSJUSTH

June 24, 2017

The UN Security Council arrived in Haiti on Thursday in a mission led by the
Permanent Representative of Bolivia and current President of the Council, Sacha Sergio Llorrenti. 

The members of the security body met with the President of the Republic, Jovenel Moïse, and other government officials, as well as with the head of the UN Mission in that country ( MINUSTAH ) and members of civil society. 

The purpose of the visit, which will end on Saturday, is to reaffirm the Council's support for the H...

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Brazil pays $20 million for Cuban doctors work in Haiti

June 23, 2017
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Haitian Prime Minister Jack Guy Lafontant on Friday welcomed Brazilian ministers Ricardo Barros from Ministry of Health and Aislar Terra from Social Affairs who visit the country to sign a health agreement with the Haitian government that will finance the Caribbean country with $ 20 million.

A statement from the prime minister's office says doctors from Cuba will be in charge of the health program, through an agreement between the three countries.

Since establishing relations in 1998, Cuba has ...

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Breaking News: Haitian Senator-elect Guy Philippe, sentenced to 9 years in US Federal prison for money laundering

June 21, 2017
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Haitian Senator-elect Guy Phillipe,  who was arrested in February by Haitian Police and extradited to the United States for drug trafficking and money laundering three days before he was due to officially be sworn in, was sentenced earlier today to nine years in federal prison for money laundering, after reaching an agreement with american justice officials that prevented him from being sentenced to drug trafficking.

US Federal District Judge Cecilia Altonaga sentenced the ex rebel turned poli...

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