Health in Haiti
Deficient sanitation systems, poor nutrition, and inadequate health services have pushed Haiti to the bottom of the World Bank’s rankings of health indicators. According to the United Nations World Food Programme, 80 percent of Haiti’s population lives below the poverty line. Consequently, malnutrition is a significant problem. Half the population can be categorized as “food insecure,” and half of all Haitian children are undersized as a result of malnutrition. Less than half the population has access to clean drinking water, a rate that compares poorly even with other less-developed nations. Haiti’s healthy life expectancy at birth is only 54 years. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that only 43 percent of the target population receives the recommended immunizations.
In terms of health care spending, Haiti ranks last in the western hemisphere. Economic instability has limited any growth in this area. Per capita, Haiti spends about US$83 annually on health care. There are 25 physicians and 11 nurses per 100,000 population. Only one-fourth of births are attended by a skilled health professional. Most rural areas have no access to health care, making residents susceptible to otherwise treatable diseases. In 2003, for example, the WHO confirmed an outbreak of typhoid fever in Haiti that, because of a lack of access to doctors and safe water, led to dozens of deaths.
Haiti has the highest incidence of human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immune deficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS) outside of Africa. Sex tourism and lack of health education led to the beginning of the epidemic in the early 1980s. Estimates vary, but the United Nations projects the national prevalence rate to be 1.5 percent of the population. Other estimates place the rate as high as 5 percent in the urban population and 3 percent in rural regions. Annually, 5,000 Haitian babies are born infected with the AIDS virus. The disease causes a fifth of all infant deaths and has orphaned 200,000 children.
One of the sources of the trouble in Haiti’s health care system, causing issues such as those listed above, is structural violence. Haiti, one of many poor countries on the globe, demonstrates social arrangements that put its individuals and populations in harm’s way. Due to unacceptable reasons such as racism, pollution, poor housing, poverty, and overall social inequality, structural violence limits residents of Haiti from proper clinical medicine. By addressing these biosocial phenomena, effectively reducing structural violence, it is likely that health care improvements in Haiti could be attained. 
Maternal and Child Healthcare
In June 2011, the United Nations Population Fund released a report on The State of the World's Midwifery. It contained new data on the midwifery workforce and policies relating to newborn and maternal mortality for 58 countries. The 2010 maternal mortality rate per 100,000 births for Haiti is 300. This is compared with 582.5 in 2008 and 898.2 in 1990. The under 5 mortality rate, per 1,000 births is 89 and the neonatal mortality as a percentage of under 5's mortality is 31. The aim of this report is to highlight ways in which the Millennium Development Goals can be achieved, particularly Goal 4 – Reduce child mortality and Goal 5 – improve maternal death. In Haiti the number of midwives per 1,000 live births is 1 and the lifetime risk of death for pregnant women 1 in 93.
The State of the World's Midwifery - Haiti Country Profile
- Haiti country profile. Library of Congress Federal Research Division (May 2006). This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
- Farmer, Paul E.; Bruce Nizeye, Sara Stulac, Salmaan Keshavjee (October 2006). "Structural Violence and Clinical Medicine". PLoS Medicine 3 (10): 1686–1690.
- "The State Of The World's Midwifery". United Nations Population Fund. Accessed August 2011.