It is with great pride that we conclude the ACOSME project (Appui au Continuum de Santé mère-enfant) in Haiti after 6 years of activities. Carried out in partnership with the International Health Unit of the University of Montreal (USI), there is no doubt that this project has been a real success and has brought considerable and lasting changes to maternal and child health in the North of Haiti.
Haiti faces high maternal and infant mortality (children: 81 deaths per 1,000 live births; women: 480 deaths per 100,000 live births in 2017) and low utilization of services due to several reasons such as poor quality of care and services, remoteness or distance, unavailability of medicines and health resources, price of services, etc. All of these conditions hinder optimal attendance at health institutions and increased utilization of services.
From the outset, women, as the primary stakeholders, were deemed essential to participate in raising community awareness about this issue. Indeed, the project's services had to reflect the needs and rights of mothers, pregnant women and newborns, while improving their use and understanding.
For this reason, the project created Women's Health Service Users' Committees (WHSCs). These committees, made up of women, now serve as an intermediary between the health institutions and the population. They provide tools, awareness, information and mobilization of the communities around maternal and child health issues and promote the use of services offered by the health institutions in the region.