Child Health Weeks in Haiti: bringing essential health services to those in need

A young girl receives a dose of vitamin A as part of the 2011 Child Health Weeks campaign in early July.

A young girl receives a dose of vitamin A as part of the 2011 Child Health Weeks campaign in early July.
View more photos from the 2011 Child Health Weeks

Over the first two weeks in July, trained health workers fanned out across Haiti to provide families, especially those with young children, with preventive health services.

In collaboration with the Haitian Ministry of Health’s strategy, the Micronutrient Initiative supported its partners, including UNICEF Haiti, the World Food Programme (WFP) and the Inter-American Development Bank (IADB), who provided thousands of children under the age of five with vitamin A and de-worming tablets, distributed iodized oil to all women of child-bearing age, and gave zinc and oral rehydration salts to caregivers to treat their child’s diarrhoea.

An important component to the successful organization of the Child Health Weeks (CHW) campaign is the collection and analysis of information about the children who received services.

This helps track the health of a child over a long-term and helps identify areas where children may not be receiving health services. This work, along with strengthened health care worker training, is being supported directly by the IADB to the Haitian Ministry of Health. IADB funding for twice-annual CHWs is also allowing MI and its partners to step up community efforts to promote the CHWs so that more families benefit from these preventative health services.

Complementary to routine health services, CHWs are a way to deliver preventive services to as many children under five and women of child-bearing age as possible.

This first 2011 Child Health Weeks campaign aimed to reach just over one million children in all 10 departments of the country. The next one is scheduled for November 2011.

MI’s work in Haiti and around the world is undertaken with the support of the Government of Canada through the Canadian International Development Agency.

Read more about MI’s involvement in previous Child Health Weeks campaigns.