Reference : V-P-HT-E-00372
Date : 05/01/2009
Country/Region : HAITI
Caption : Port-au-Prince. Cité Soleil. A young woman who gave birth recently and received help from a midwife.
Photographer : HAVIV, Ron
Confidentiality level : public
Publication restrictions : reserved users only
Copyright : ICRC/VII
Description : Fran├žoise, who helped Michelene when she gave birth, has been working as a midwife since 2001 and has updated her skills on ICRC funded refresher courses. Since then she has helped countless women give birth either at home or in hospital.

Most women give birth at home in Haiti, too poor to pay for a taxi to the hospital, the hospital fees or even for the clothes and shoes they need to make the trip. As a result when complications arrive such as pregnancy induced high blood pressure or pre -eclampsia, which Haitian women develop at high rates, they often lose the child and risk their own lives. More women die here before, during and after childbirth than anywhere else in the Western Hemisphere.

The Red Cross training courses emphasise the importance of medical care, stressing that the expectant mothers should be encouraged to go to hospital, rather than deliver at home. The midwives either hail a "tap tap", a brightly decorated converted pick up truck that acts as a taxi, and take the woman to the Choscal hospital, the only public hospital in the shanty town or call the Haitian Red Cross post in Cite Soleil who then use one of the tap taps kitted out as an ambulance and protected temporarily by the Red Cross emblem to evacuate the women.
"Many women are still reluctant to go to the hospital", says Francoise, "as treatment costs just over 1 US dollar (40 gourdes), but even if we deliver at home, we make sure that they have their follow up check ups and vaccines in hospital"

Original material : digital
Resolution : 3744x5616
Orientation : portrait
Colour/B&W : colour