Carey Business School
Haiti - Maternal and Child Survival Program (MCSP)/Haiti
The USAID-funded MCSP/Haiti project works in all 10 departments of Haiti and across 164 facilities and surrounding communities to increase the use and quality of prioritized high-impact interventions from the Haiti integrated package of services, improve the functionality of referral networks, institutionalize key management practices, strengthen MSPP departmental authority capacity, and develop/update guidelines and protocols at the national level.
The project works closely with the 10 departmental health directorates (DDS) and is responsible for ensuring that quality health services are delivered and monitored at both the facility and community level for HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, Maternal, Newborn and Child Health, Family Planning/Reproductive Health, Zika, Water Sanitation and Hygiene, Nutrition, Gender-based Violence, and Child Protection.
Global Health PI/Mentor: Jean Pythagore Biyik
This field placement in Haiti was a life-altering event. I left my country due to political issues and lack of opportunities that persisted then and are still present now eight years later. However, after I arrived at Jhpiego—the global health NGO affiliated with Johns Hopkins University—I felt hope due to the outstanding efforts of staff members and senior leaders to improve health care delivery, policies, and evidence-based research throughout the country. During my time at Jhpiego, I worked on three studies with the Maternal and Child Survival Program (MCSP). The first project was an observational study on enhanced partner notification services and home testing using HIV self-tests. The second project was a pilot study for the use of Misoprostol for prevention of Postpartum Hemorrhage (PPH) for births at facilities and home settings in the northeast department of Haiti. The last project was a pilot study, which involved the feasibility, acceptability, and accessibility of the referral and counter-referral system’s communication and transportation protocols from the perspective of both health facility providers and patients. At the completion of these studies, the findings will help shape new or current health policies with the Haitian Ministry of Health.
Left: At the Jhpiego headquarters in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Right: The lack of health services delivery in many hospitals in the provinces of Haiti
At the time of my internship, The Ministry of Public Health and Population (MSPP) in Haiti with support from USAID’s Maternal and Child Survival Program (MCSP) was working to establish a functional national health referral and counter referral system. MCSP was tasked with developing communication and transportation protocols to assist operationalization of a functional health referral system and therefore reduce the delay caused by patients’ difficulty in reaching a medical facility.
Specifically, I was responsible for contributing to the update of the Maternal and Child Health Reference Manual; serve as an assistant in the technical analysis of the information collected by the consultant for the update of the reference manual; analyze MRN data collected and conduct appropriate statistical analysis test; contribute to the HIV self-testing protocol to ensure that it describes in details appropriate methods for data collection and analysis. Additionally, I conducted many interviews and participated in focus-group discussions with health providers who work in remote health centers such as Savanne-au-lait and Cazale centre de santé.
Committee Health Meeting in Ouanaminthe Community Health Center
During my time working on these projects, which is still ongoing at the time I left Haiti, I discovered my new passion for mixed methods research. A mixed methods approach is a methodology for conducting research that involves collecting, analyzing and integrating quantitative (e.g., experiments, surveys) and qualitative (e.g., focus groups, interviews) research. I had the opportunity to see its applicability for the HIV Self-testing study; I hope to become well-versed in this approach since it is advantageous for studies relating to global health and healthcare.
I am truly thankful for this great experience with the Jhpiego staff and for my family for hosting me. This experience has reinforced my passion for global public health since health transcends beyond national boundaries and it is among the most significant challenges faced by many developing countries. I look forward to returning to Haiti for other research projects, build a hospital, and conduct other evidence-based research projects in many other nations in the future.
Left: Interview with the Chief-Nurse-Practitioner in Ouanaminthe Community Health Center. Right: Focus Group with pregnant mothers on the usage and accessibility of Misoprostol for Prevention of Postpartum Hemorrhage (PPH) for Births at Facility and Home Settings, in the Northeast Department of Haiti