Health and Housing in Haiti

Saint-Marc, Artibonite, Haiti

Kay e Sante nan Ayiti (Creole for Housing and Health in Haiti) is an international project aimed at improving health outcomes in the Bois L’État community of Saint-Marc, Haiti. Our goal is to build a long-lasting community-based health transformation, involving both construction and education.

Haiti is one of the poorest countries in the world and the health of its people ranks the lowest in the hemisphere. The country has the highest rates of infant, child, and maternal mortality in the Americas. Additionally, HIV rates in Haiti are the highest in the Western hemisphere and for those living with HIV/AIDS, there is extremely limited access to lifesaving antiretroviral drugs. The diseases that cause the greatest morbidity and mortality in Haiti are those that are most acutely linked to living in poverty. Sadly, of every thousand children born in Haiti, 78 die before reaching the age of 5, most frequently from diarrheal diseases, acute respiratory infections, and malnutrition. Infectious diseases, particularly HIV and TB, are major causes of adult mortality.

Esther Boucicault founded FEBS in 1996 shortly after she was diagnosed with HIV, having lost her first husband and young son to AIDS. She is credited with being the first person in Haiti to publicly admit to having HIV.FEBS aims to improve the quality of life for people living with HIV and AIDS in and around Saint-Marc, Haiti by providing quality care and supportive services and reducing stigma and discrimination. Services include up-to-date and appropriate HIV counseling, psychological support, AIDS education and prevention, and grassroots advocacy.

Since 2011, ARCHIVE and our partners both in the United States and Haiti have worked to address this missing link between HIV/AIDS care and housing access. This work began with the hosting of an Open Innovation Campaign, which invited designers from all over the world to create housing designs that addressed the specific health threats, particularly opportunistic respiratory infections associated with HIV/AIDS. Since the Campaign, we have constructed three of these designs, and our local partner will be using those designs to expand essential care services to its community. In 2014, we transferred responsibility of the project to our local partners.

  • 21 full-time jobs created
  • 80+ residents will receive new housing
  • 300 residents will benefit from a new community center
  • 300 residents trained in health/housing strategies
  • 1,600 health and design professionals participated in Open Innovation Campaign
  • 3,000 residents will receive access to clean water
  • 7,500+ residents gained improved access to basic necessities through the construction of a road
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