Community Interventions Save Lives in Haiti

Community health workers Croix de Bouquets, Haiti

March 15, 2012 - The Lucelia Bontemps Health Center is located in the Croix de Bouquets region of Port au Prince in Haiti and provides health services to over 220 people each day. Here, increasing emphasis is being put on reaching out to pregnant women and new mothers.

The team at Lucelia Bontemps realized long ago that improving the health of the community can’t be done from within the walls of a health center alone. Since 2006, they have had a team of dedicated Community Health Workers (CHWs) to help bridge that gap between the surrounding communities and the health center. These CHWs play an especially important role in maternal health by encouraging women to come to the health center for pre-natal and post-natal consultations and helping them make appropriate plans for the birth.

The kind of support provided by these CHWs is especially important for first-time mothers. Marie (pictured above with some CHWs) lives about 25 minutes by foot from the Health Center and is five months pregnant with her first child. Despite the distance, she has already visited the center once for a prenatal consult and plans to continue receiving care throughout the duration of her pregnancy. In a country where 87 of every 1,000 children born die before their fifth birthday, these kind of community interventions are essential to saving lives.

This article was reported by MFH Program Manager Amelia Brandt

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