A recent survey has found “a worrying drop” in the number of children vaccinated in Haiti.
The sixth Mortality, Morbidity, and Utilisation of Services Survey (EMMUS-VI) was conducted by the Haitian Institute of Childhood in collaboration with the Haitian Institute of Statistics and Informatics and sponsored by the Ministry of Public Health with the technical assistance from the World Programme for Demographic and Health Surveys.
According to the results of the survey, published on Tuesday, the percentage of children under two years, who have received all their vaccines increased between 2005 and 2012 from 41 to 45 per cent.
But the survey also found that since 2012, the percentage of children having received all their vaccines and the percentage of those who have not received any vaccine had fallen to the 2005-2006 levels of 41 and 10 per cent respectively.
The survey found that more than 50 per cent of children have not received all their basic vaccines for polio, diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough and hepatitis with the authorities blaming a lack of information and financial difficulties faced by poor families to visit the vaccination centres
“This is due to several factors, access to health centres is particularly difficult for the families,” said Public Health Minister, Dr Marie Greta Roy Clément, who notes that the vaccines are freely available in these centres.
According to EMMUS-VI, the infant mortality rate remains unchanged at 59 deaths per 1,000 births.
Officials said that the survey highlights the difficulties for Haiti to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030.
“Much remains to be done,” said Clement adding “there is room for improvement with resources allocated to us”.