In recent decades Haiti saw some improvements in health indicators, but successes have stagnated over the past 10 years, and gains made in the 1990s and early 2000s have been threatened by natural disasters, political turmoil, and disease outbreaks. The private health sector is a key source for health products and services for millions of people in Haiti, and private sector solutions can help provide sustainable solutions to chronic health challenges.
Haiti has the highest maternal and infant mortality rates and the lowest contraceptive prevalence in the Latin America and Caribbean region. In 2016 modern contraceptive prevalence was just 32 percent. Fear of side effects and opposition to contraception are major barriers to use. Diarrhea is a leading cause of under-5 deaths, and in a country with nearly 60 percent of its population living below the national extreme poverty line, 32 percent had to purchase bottled water in order to have an improved source of drinking water. The cholera outbreak has killed nearly 10,000 people and continues to put the most vulnerable people at risk.
SHOPS Plus uses generic social and behavior change campaigns to increase overall demand for family planning and child health products, including home water treatment product, low osmolarity ORS, and dispersible zinc sulfate tablets for diarrhea case management. This work includes health education through community theatre, radio, social media, and digital messaging. SHOPS Plus is also marketing a brand of condoms and is ensuring the availability of health products by working to enhance the marketing and distribution of oral contraceptives and home water treatment products to meet growing demand.