Malnutrition is one of the most significant and constant health risks that infants in Haiti face; it can stunt physical and mental development or even lead to life-threatening complications such as pneumonia, diarrhea, and infection. The health of children is also heavily influenced by the health of their mothers. Mothers suffering from nutritional deficiencies, such as anemia and lack of vitamin A, have less energy and are less able to care for their children. Globally, about 50 percent of all pregnant women in the developing world suffer from anemia.* Malnutrition in women can also lead to economic losses due to inability to work and to provide consistent income that benefits the whole family- whether supporting education for their children or eating a diversified, well-balanced diet.
Vitamin supplements can greatly reduce the risk of malnutrition among women and infants whose diets alone don’t provide them with all the nutrients they need. However, in rural, developing Haiti, distributing supplies effectively can present serious challenges, which is why HAS is proud to partner with Breath of Life Haiti. HAS provides this organization with prenatal vitamins that they in turn distribute to expectant and nursing mothers living in Dèsarmes, a community approximately 10 miles from the main hospital. Dèsarmes falls outside of HAS’ official community service area as designated by the Haitian Ministry of Health. HAS directly provides mobile healthcare, vitamins and supplements, and other community-based health services in its designated service area – and this partnership allows us to positively impact communities otherwise beyond our reach.
In addition to distributing clean care delivery kits to pregnant women in Dèsarmes, Breath of Life offers a two-day Expectant Mothers Class that provides soon-to-be mothers with education and preparation for safe delivery as well as gifts for their infants. As part of this partnership, HAS provides gifts that include micronutrients from Vitamin Angels that are essential nutrients for mothers and their newborns.
Vitamin Angels shares our commitment to the fight against malnutrition. They distribute vitamins and micronutrients to at-risk populations through trusted partner organizations like HAS, reaching 30 million children around the world.
HAS is proud to work with organizations like Breath of Life Haiti and Vitamin Angels, who share our commitment to providing compassionate, lifesaving care to the people of Haiti.
Source: *Administrative Committee on Coordination (ACC)/Sub-Committee on Nutrition (SCN) and International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), Fourth Report on the World Nutrition Situation (Geneva: ACC/SCN, 2000); and Commission on the Nutrition Challenges of the 21st Century, Ending Malnutrition by 2020: An Agenda for Change in the Millennium (February 2000), accessed online at http://acc.unsystem.org/scn/Publications/UN_Report.PDF, on June 11, 2003.