Demographic by the burdens of disease mentioned


Haiti is a third world country that
is part of the Pan American Health Organization region of the World Health
Organization (WHO). Haiti is located on the island of Hispaniola in the Greater
Antilles archipelago. With its population currently at roughly 11 million, the
country has a population density of 350 people per square kilometer (Haiti
Population, 2018). The WHO provided statistics regarding the leading health
indicators for Haiti which include: under-five mortality rate, maternal
mortality ratio, and health service utilization percentages for contraceptives.
As of 2015, the under-five mortality rate is 73/1000 live births. The maternal
mortality ratio is 380/100,000 live births. Finally, the health service
utilization percentage for contraceptives is 74% (WHO, 2018). For both
under-five and maternal mortalities, the rates have dropped significantly over
the past couple of decades. The percentage of health service utilization has
increased greatly in that time as well. These factors all lead to a greater
health status. However, the country is still in a dire situation and still
requires help from allied countries and organizations. Burdens of disease that
plague the country the most include exposure to forces of nature, lower
respiratory infections, and diarrheal diseases in that order. All of these have
led to numbers of years of life lost (IHME, 2018). One factor that leads to a majority
of illness in Haiti is due to lack of clean drinking water. In an article from, it states that, “The UN estimates that almost one-tenth of the
global disease burden could be prevented by improving water supply, sanitation,
hygiene, and management of water resources.” Reducing 10% of the burden of
disease would be a huge step towards the Millennium Development Goals. However,
money is always a factor and is a large reason as to why Haiti continues to be
devastated by the burdens of disease mentioned above. The socioeconomic status
of Haiti is abysmal. It is the poorest country in the western hemisphere and
roughly 60% of the population lives below the national poverty line of $2.41
per day. One of the greatest contributors to this socioeconomic status is
natural disasters such as earthquakes and hurricanes (Haiti Overview, 2017).
These forces of nature destroy schools, hospitals, homes, and take people’s
lives. So much of the country’s money has to be placed in rebuilding that it
cannot escape its monetary deficit. All of these factors such as health
indicators, burden of disease, population size, and socioeconomic status help
organizations such as the WHO understand what needs to be done to aid countries
such as Haiti; ultimately leading to the advancement of the Millennium
Development Goals.

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Millennium Development Goals

            The Millennium Development Goals
(MDGs) are comprised of 8 different goals which include: eradicating extreme
poverty and hunger, achieving universal primary education, promoting gender equality
and empower women, reducing child mortality rates, improving maternal health,
combating HIV/AIDS, malaria, and other diseases, ensuring environmental
sustainability, and creating global partnerships for development (United
Nations Millennium Development Goals, 2018). While it would be ideal to meet
all of the goals simultaneously, priorities have to be set. For Haiti, the
health priorities as proposed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
are to eliminate mother to child transmission of HIV, reduce the under-five
mortality rate from vaccine preventable diseases by 35%, and reduce maternal
mortality rates by 30%. To aid in that progression, a laboratory hub system was
implemented and various surveillance systems to monitor the health status of
the country (CDC, 2013). Despite many setbacks due to natural disasters, the
Millennium Development Goals have progressed very well. The wealthiest 1% of
Haitians have the same wealth as roughly 45% of the poorest Haitians with a
national poverty rate of roughly 60%. The percentage of children enrolled in
primary education increased from 47% to 88% over 18 years. Greater than 20% of
all government positions are now run by women. The vaccination rate of children
against measles has risen from 26% to 85% over 26 years. While 75% of rural
area births still occur without assistance of a medical professional, 60% of
women in urban areas now give birth with the assistance of a medical
professional. Women’s health education has increased as well with 46% knowing
that HIV can be transmitted via breastfeeding. HIV/AIDS has become more stable
between younger Haitians by .1% as well. To combat the natural disasters,
almost 40,000 acres of forest have been planted in the past 30 years. Finally,
the Department of the West received 34% of official development assistance (MDG
Report Haiti, 2014). While there is still a long way to go before Haiti is a
self-sufficient country, all of these advancements have drastically improved
its health status.


(2013, November). Progress Toward Rebuilding Haiti’s Health System. Retrieved
January 21, 2018, from

Water: A Health Essential. (2011, October 13). Retrieved January 21, 2018, from

Why Clean Water

Overview. (2017, October 02). Retrieved January 21, 2018, from

Population 2018. (n.d.). Retrieved January 21, 2018, from

(n.d.). Haiti. Retrieved January 21, 2018, from

Report Haiti 2013. (2014, June 25). Retrieved January 21, 2018, from

Nations Millennium Development Goals. (n.d.). Retrieved January 21, 2018, from

WHO. (n.d.). Retrieved
January 22, 2018, from

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