Essay Example on Haiti is the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere









Haiti is the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere and among one of the poorest in the world World Bank 2017 According to World Bank 2017 Haiti s estimated gross domestic product GDP per capita was 1 800 To put this into perspective the United States GDP per capita was 57 600 in 2016 Haiti has suffered from numerous setbacks throughout its history such as political instability and various detrimental natural disasters that put a majority of the population at risk Two fifth 38 of Haiti's economy depends on agricultural small scale farming but this sector suffers from underinvestment in infrastructure limited natural resource management as well as frequent damages from natural disasters The unemployment rate is 40 6 2010 with more than 67 of the labor force without a formal job As of 2012 over 50 of the population lives below poverty line Central Intelligence Agency CIA 2018 According to United States Agency International Development USAID 2014 

Haiti is improving toward meeting the Millennium Development Goals MDGs for gender equality education and the fight against HIV AIDS but much work is still needed on maternal health child mortality and extreme hunger poverty In relation the three leading causes of the burden of disease in 2012 for Haiti were maternal neonatal nutritional diseases cardiovascular diseases and other infectious diseases non communicable diseases NCDs World Health Organization WHO 2015 The three leading risk factors that account for the most burden of disease in Haiti are high blood pressure dietary risks and household air pollution from solid fuels The main burden of disease in Haiti is related to malnutrition About 30 of the population does not have enough food with 600 000 among this group needing further external assistance to survive Sadly the number of meals per person has decreased from 2 48 to 1 58 per day Poverty and lack of food places the highest burden of nutritional deficiencies on Haiti's women and young children In fact one in five children experience growth stunt with anemia experienced by more than half of the children and women of reproductive age Additionally pregnant women are not meeting the daily recommended intake of iron which contributes to anemia and complications for the mother and her child USAID 2014 Malnutrition and micronutrient deficiencies are dietary risk factors that can be linked to the country's healthcare system inadequacies Haiti's healthcare system is plagued with not enough health workers in addition to low retention rates compounded with low skill levels 

Meanwhile there are several partnerships and USAID programs to help accelerate progress in nutrition including Strengthening Partnerships Results and Innovations in Nutrition Globally SPRING and Nutrition Security Program NSP Haiti USAID also collaborates with World Food Program WFP UNICEF Inter American Development Bank World Bank and World Health Organization as well as joined the Committing to Child Survival A Promise Renewed campaign in 2012 to reduce preventable causes of child mortality USAID 2014 The second leading burden of disease is related to cardiovascular disease hypertension One of the possible reasons for this is that Haitians ingest excessive amounts of salt Jean Charles 2014 Haitians consume an average of 30 to 35 grams of sodium daily in their diet In comparison WHO recommends 4 gram of sodium per day According to Jean Charles 2014 bouillon cubes are a staple in all Haitian cuisines that contains 2400mg of sodium This in addition to other sodium rich items such as tomato paste butter and rock salt makes it easy to surpass 30 35 gram of salt Jean Charles proposed that one of the best ways to reduce this burden is to educate the young i e The Heart Fund and implement a more formal class on hypertension risk factor in local medical school s 

The third leading burden of disease is related to non communicable diseases such as cardiovascular disease 24 diabetes 5 cancers 7 chronic respiratory diseases 1 etc NCDs account for an estimated 48 89 000 in 2012 of total deaths The probability of death from the 4 main NCDs is 24 between ages 30 and 70 years WHO 2015 Hospital Albert Scweitzer HAS n d proposed that the introduction of processed foods to local diets might have played a major role in the increased prevalence in heart disease and diabetes Meanwhile air pollution in Haiti can reach hazardous levels Bambrick 2014 Bambrick observed that the filter used to monitor the air quality blackened in just 30 minutes in Port au Prince Meanwhile household smoke exposure of solid fuels such as woodfuel and charcoal during cooking are creating numerous respiratory problems Long term effects of breathing polluted air may lead to lung cancer cardiovascular disease respiratory illness allergies heart attacks and strokes Researchers hope that the data gathered although limited can at least raise awareness that similar unhealthy air conditions are likely to exist in other developing countries affected by natural disasters

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