Since July 2018, a deepening political and economic crisis has once again put access to health care in Haiti in jeopardy. While thousands of demonstrators have taken to the streets to protest skyrocketing prices of goods, a lack of economic opportunities, and government misuse of funds, the international community has mostly remained silent. According to the World Bank, more than six million Haitians—about 60 percent of the population of the country—live below the poverty line on less than $2.41 (US) per day, and more than 2.5 million fall below the extreme poverty line of $1.23 per day. This means that most families struggle to buy food or pay for medicines or medical care. The uncertainty and unrest have also led to an increase in violence. Soaring prices have impacted the cost of medications and health access for Haitians, making it that much harder for people to get the care they need. Public and private medical facilities have also been badly impacted by the crisis. All of this has led to critical shortages of health care staff that have left Haiti’s health care system on the brink of collapse.
Scott Mc Kiernan, Founder & CEO, ZUMA Press