"Global Community Assessment of Haiti" is a remarkable example of a paper on social and family issues. Haiti is a country located between the Caribbean Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean. Nearly, ten million people occupy the western side of Hispaniola Island. The total geographical area of Haiti approximates 27, 750 square kilometers (Sloand et al, 2010). Over 28.11% occupies arable land, 11.53% permanent crops, and 60.36%. Haiti has a strong culture with West African and French roots because of the French colonization. The country gained independence through a successful revolution. It remains one of the poorest countries in the world in economic terms, but one with the richest cultural heritage.
Studies show that 80% of the population is living in poverty partially because of the disasters that affect the country such as an earthquake (Ivers, & Louise, 2011). For instance, a recent major earthquake that affected the country in 2010 destroyed many resources and lives. The poverty rate is so high that some people go without food and lack other basic needs. The terrible economic condition results in major issues such as civil disputes, illegal selling of drugs, and illegal migration.
Most children cannot access education and this exposes them to engage in illegal behaviors at their tender age. Additionally, there are negative trends in the nutrition, well-being, and health of the Haitian population. Currently, Aids/HIV is the leading cause of many deaths in Haiti. Environment The country is exposed to the impacts of climate change, especially sea-level rise. Other overlapping factors affecting the county include high population densities, overstressed water resources, fragile ecosystems, and limited resources. The country is a perfect example of how socioeconomic conditions and physical exposure can cause extreme climate vulnerability.
The country is prone to environmental stressors such as droughts, landslides, earthquakes, and hurricanes. The climate change in Haiti increases the likelihood of the occurrence and extreme weather events such as hurricanes. The country is also vulnerable to floods that occur occasionally. Heavy rains have increased the cases of waterborne diseases such as cholera. Such cases have weakened the natural systems such as losses of the protection of trees (Oboler, 2010). Systems Haiti’ s political system is the presidential-style republic whereby the President of Haiti is usually the Head of State.
The majority party in the parliament and president-elect the prime minister, and the government exercises the executive power. The National Assembly of Haiti consists of 30 members of the senate elected for 6 years period, with a third of seats contested every two years. The other assemble consists of 99 members chamber of Deputies. In terms of economic power, Haiti is among the poorest countries in the world where the majority lives in extreme poverty. Many people cannot afford the basic commodities and it becomes a challenge to access medical facilities.
As a result, a large segment of people in Haiti are living in extreme conditions, and diseases such as cholera are spreading rapidly because of lack of treatment. The official religion of Haiti is Roman Catholicism while voodoo is the country’ s national religion. Most Haitians practice and believe in voodoo doctrines. It is important to note that, most voodooists believe in their religion as it is similar to Catholicism. However, most Protestants oppose voodoo since its belief system revolves around family spirits that are inherited through paternal and maternal lines.
Unlike Protestantism and Roman Catholicism, Voodoo lacks an organized hierarchy and a fixed theology. Still, there is a small Muslim population in Haiti. Haiti relies more on road transport where the two highways run from one country to the other. The main challenge with healthcare in Haiti is that there is no plan, structure, or system implemented to improve the health care sector. There are inadequate healthcare facilities, insufficient medical staff, treatment, support staff, and equipment. As health care assessment has been left to medical NGOs such as the Cuban Brigade and MSF to provide the healthcare facilities they can afford.
Despite the lack of systems in the healthcare sector, there have been medical improvements in various treatments such as TB where patients are freely taken care of and treated. Hospital services in Haiti provided hospital freely by the government after the devastating earthquake that occurred in 2010. However, the free services ended as the government could not maintain the high cost of medical services. As a result, many hospitals have been struggling to meet the needs of patients. Health Concern As the country continues to face devastating flooding, there has been a predominant health concern of cholera.
The devastating earthquake in 2010 and subsequent flooding caused a cholera epidemic that affected over 630, 000 people and killed 7, 500 (Skerrett, 2010). For the past years, cholera has been a direct result of the earthquake devastation and heavy rains that occur occasionally. The disease has been able to spread rapidly because of initial misdiagnosis, lack of treatment, and inadequate medical infrastructure. Cholera is a severe problem in Haiti spreading through poor sanitation, poor hygiene, limited clean water, food, and water contamination.
It is important to note that, the high rate of poverty has increased the health concern of cholera. As previously mentioned, most people are living below the poverty line and cannot afford basic commodities. Most households undergo the challenge of poor sanitation and this increases the vulnerability of cholera spreading. Other health concerns include malnutrition that in most cases lead to death. Population at risk Although every person is vulnerable to the mentioned diseases, children and the elderly are the most vulnerable.
This is because; the mentioned population segments are weaker and lack the strength to undergo the struggle of poor sanitation and flooding. When disasters such as earthquakes and flooding occur, most are carried away or live in unsuitable conditions that attract waterborne diseases such as cholera. The other population vulnerable to this disaster is those living in and below the poverty line. These people are underprivileged to access clean water and good sanitation. As a result, this exposes them to acquire waterborne diseases. The Impact of the health problem One of the most impacts of the mentioned health problems for the population at risk is that it leads to death.
There is a big challenge for Haiti’ s government in, trying to provide medical services to the most affected victims with cholera. The country suffers a great loss when people die from the disease because it diminishes the chance of having a skilled and talented workforce in the future. In my nursing experience, I have established the need to empower Haitians on how they can improve their lives without depending so much on the government.
It is also important for the government to embrace the challenge and look for ways to deter the severe problem of flooding. To avoid severe disasters happening, it is important for the government to inform its citizen of the danger of the disaster prior to it occurring. International health agencies assisting the country Meanwhile, the fact of the matter remains that around half of the population in Haiti cannot access clean water and good sanitation. As a result, cholera continues to increase at a high rate and the country continues to recover from the devastating impact of meeting its cost.
Some of the health agencies assisting the country include the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), which took the initiative to vaccinate people against Cholera. Other health-care providers include the Partners in Health organizations (PIH) that have initiated plans to eliminate cholera by primary providing clean water and sanitation. The UNICEF has also played a crucial role in eliminating cholera transmission through its commitment to building infrastructures for the homeless. As these organizations partner with the country to fight cholera transmission, there is great hope that the initiatives will save lives and resources lost from the disasters. Thus far, it is evident that there are so many calamities affecting Haiti.
Most people are living in extreme poverty, poor sanitation, and lack of clean water. These issues have triggered the increased rate of cholera. With this, Haiti’ s government must look for ways to deter the problem to save lives. The country must diligently work hard to create job opportunities, provide better sanitation, and clean water (Providing mobile water treatment for project HOPE in Haiti, 2011).
In so doing, Haitians will live comfortable lives that are free from cholera transmission.
Ivers, & Louise C, M.D., M.P.H. (2011). Strengthening the health system while investing in Haiti. American Journal of Public Health, 101(6), 970-1.
Oboler, S. (2010). In its darkest times, Haiti is still the world's hope and a mirror of the Latino/experience. Latino Studies,8(1), 1-3. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1057/lst.2010.8
Providing mobile water treatment for project HOPE in Haiti. (2011). American Water Works Association. Journal, 103(4), 129.
Skerrett, K. (2010). Damming the Flood: Haiti, Aristides, and the politics of containment. Labour, (65), 233-235.
Sloand, Elizabeth, PhD., C.R.N.P., Astone, N. M., PhD., & Gebrian, Bette, RN, M.P.H., Ph.D. (2010). The impact of fathers' clubs on child health in rural Haiti. American Journal of Public Health, 100(2), 201-4.