The Marcelle and Jean Coutu Foundation and Terre Sans Frontières (TSF) have begun building a major mother-child centre in Vialet, Haiti. Construction, equipping and the full takeover of operations will take place over a 10-year period.
The Centre mère-enfant Marcelle et Jean Coutu, whose day-to-day opera- tions will be managed by the Sisters of Charity of Saint-Louis, will become a leading health institution for the entire Petit-Goâve region in the area maternal and infant health, with an emphasis on access to basic and comprehensive emer- gency neonatal and obstetrical care.
Pregnant women, mothers and chil- dren across the country have too little access to care. It is estimated that only 37% of births are attended by skilled health personnel (2012). Furthermore, the World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that for every 100,000 live
births, 630 women die from preventable pregnancy- and delivery-related cause, and even before the devastating earthquake in January 2010, of every 100 children born, more than six failed to survive their first year of life.
The problem is all the more trou- bling in Petit-Goâve, which, essentially, is a rural region. Studies have shown that in rural areas, more than one third of Haitian women (34%) must travel 15 kilometres or more to get to the closest health centre; to get to a hospital, 60% of women must travel this far.
The Centre mère-enfant Marcelle et Jean Coutu intends to foster the insti- tutionalization of childbirth, reducing maternal mortality by targeting the time spent on deciding to seek care, the time it takes to access health services (transportation, roads, etc.), as well as the centre’s capacity and the quality of its services.