Vre Lavi Ayiti - True Life Haiti

The Problem:

 

One in eight children in northern Haiti is acutely malnourished and one in five is underweight. One in 14 will die before reaching the age of 5.

Malnutrition in northern Haiti is the result of many factors, including endemic poverty brought on by the nearly 80% unemployment rate, and primitive agricultural practices that prevent farmers from growing enough nutritious food to feed their families. Haiti has endured centuries of political unrest, foreign occupations, corruption, and natural disasters, leaving the country weakened and families vulnerable.

Dr. Anne-Marie is a Dutch doctor working in the Hospital Passe Catabois, Haiti and is the only doctor for a community of 20,000 people. Following she writes in her blog:

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Roselène

Yesterday I found a 38 year old woman on the floor in the hallway of the hospital. I lifted her on a bed and saw a very skinny woman with swollen abdomen and legs. No AIDS which surprised me, because as she looked it seemed to be end-stage of HIV. After questioning and a physical examination, I come to the conclusion that it is a very malnourished woman. One day later she has deceased from malnutrition. So I know this can happen again and again usually with children, but now a mother will die instead of her children.

The Situation in Haiti

After winning its independence from France in 1804, Haiti has struggled to survive, and now finds itself with a broken-down infrastructure, no jobs and few opportunities for its people to improve their standard of living. More than 9 million people live in Haiti; over a third of them are under age 14.

Now the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, Haiti’s literacy rate is only 50%. The World Bank estimates that 86% of educated Haitians have left the country, looking for a better life and taking with them the knowledge their country needs to face its many challenges and prosper.

With an average household income of around $400 a year, 76% of Haitians live on less than $2 per day.

 

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