|Inter-American Solidarity Demonstrated in Haiti|
Washington, D.C., 18 September 2009 (PAHO)—The Director of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), Dr. Mirta Roses, pointed out the success of health programs in Haiti this week, during the presentation of a report on the Inter-American Mission to Haiti in the Permanent Council of the Organization of American States (OAS). The report was submitted by Assistant Secretary General of the OAS, Ambassador Albert Ramdin, who headed the high-level mission to Haiti.
Dr. Roses said the mission enabled PAHO to show the role of health in the development in Haiti, describing the Free Obstetric Care program (SOG), which began as a pilot study for a sustainable social protection system in Haiti. The program offers free access to health services for low-income pregnant women, thus helping to increase the number of births with medical care by removing the financial barriers to people without resources in Haiti. There has been a 59% increase in deliveries with medical care in participating health centers and maternity facilities, and a survey of beneficiaries yielded an 83% satisfaction rate, she noted.
Dr. Roses called for a greater commitment to coordinating international cooperation, negotiation, and consensus-building among donors to build the Haitian State. She noted the importance of dialogue among civil society, the private sector, and inter-American agencies in fostering complementarity rather than competition among them to achieve economic growth and the democratic and institutional strengthening of Haiti.
A woman holds her baby at Port-au-Prince's Isaie Jeanty hospital where women can give birth for free. (Photo AFP)
She also pointed to the success of the five field visits that were made to view the concrete results of the projects and programs executed in Haiti by the inter-American agencies:
Participating in the three-day mission were President René Préval, the President of the Senate, representatives of the Provisional Electoral Council, private sector and civil society leaders, representatives of the international community, the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH), a special delegation from the United Nations Secretary General to Haiti, representatives of nine Member States, and a group of journalists.