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Port-au-Prince, 29 April 2020 --- The Association of Nurses Midwives of Haiti (AISFH) organized on April 8, 9, 13 and 14, 2020, in Port-au-Prince with the support of UNFPA, the United Nations Population, the Canadian Association of Midwiwes (ACSF) and Canada Global Affairs (CGA), several training sessions on COVID-19 prevention measures for forty midwives from various institutions in the West department and a dozen coordinators of the association's departmental committees. Most of these sessions took place virtually.

According to the AISFH president Doriné Marie Jasainte, “this training aimed in addition to the prevention aspect to encourage and support midwifery during the COVID-19 crisis, raise awareness of the importance of women triage and their orientation in each case and recall good practices in terms of dealing with gender-based violence in crisis setting”.

The training provided an opportunity for midwives, she adds, to motivate each other in the pursuit of caregiving for all and women in particular in this challenging environment. Participants will have to replicate this training in their respective departments.

Yannick Saintimé has been working at Fermathe Hospital for almost 17 years. She is satisfied with the training. "This has allowed me to broaden my knowledge of how the disease is transmitted, how to prevent it and how to live with it if we get it." Miss Saintimé establishes a link between this training and the pivotal role of midwives in reducing maternal and neonatal mortality. "Being better equipped to manage our stress on the basis of the new knowledge acquired on the pandemic, we will be able to better approach, advise and take care of women while protecting ourselves and helping them to protect their loved ones and their newborns," Saintimé added.

In March 2020, WHO considered Covid-19 to be a pandemic that requires preventive and curative measures. And as a matter of fact to cope with the spread of the disease which entered Haiti on March 19, the Multisectoral Pandemic Management Commission created by presidential decree recommended that actors attack it on these axes (preventive and curative).

UNFPA supports the Ministry of Public Health and Population so that continuity of maternal health services can be achieved during this difficult period, while protecting health professionals (nurses and doctors) working in the maternity units and pregnant women and newborns attending them.

In addition, UNFPA ensures that Covid-19 management takes into account women who may be infected and who should receive appropriate health care to their conditions.

For their part, the members of the Core Group call for "a collective and concerted effort" as well as for "an inclusive and transparent management" of the Covid-19 pandemic (the new coronavirus) in Haiti in order to minimize the impact of this health crisis. The Core Group is made up of the Special Representative of the Secretary General of the United Nations, the Ambassadors of Germany, Brazil, Canada, Spain, the United States of America, France, and the European Union as well as the Special Representative of the American States Organization.                                                                                                    

Story: Vario Sérant

Photo: AISFH