Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Five Billion People 'Have No Access To Safe Surgery'

Five billion people 'have no access to safe surgery'

  • Dr Shane Duffy performs fistula surgery in Uganda
The study said a third of all deaths in 2010 were treatable with surgery

Two-thirds of the world's population have no access to safe and affordable surgery, according to a new study in The Lancet - more than double the number in previous estimates.
It means millions of people are dying from treatable conditions such as appendicitis and obstructed labour.

Most live in low and middle-income countries.
The study suggests that 93% of people in sub-Saharan Africa cannot obtain basic surgical care.
Previous estimates have only looked at whether surgery was available.
But this research has also considered whether people can travel to facilities within two hours, whether the procedure will be safe, and whether patients can actually afford the treatment.

One of the study's authors, Andy Leather, director of the King's Centre for Global Health, said the situation was outrageous.

"People are dying and living with disabilities that could be avoided if they had good surgical treatment," he said.

"Also, more and more people are being pushed into poverty trying to access surgical care."

The study suggests a quarter of people who have an operation cannot in fact afford it.

Call for investment

Twenty-five experts spent a year and a half gathering evidence and testimony, from healthcare workers and patients, from more than 100 different countries as part of this report.

They are now calling for a greater focus on, and investment in, surgical care.
scrubbing up for surgery
Surgeons scrub up before performing surgery - but more investment is needed
They say a third of all deaths in 2010 (16.9 million) were from conditions which were treatable with surgery.

That was more than the number of deaths from HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria combined.
The authors suggest the cost to the global economy of doing nothing will be more than $12 trillion between now and 2030.

They are calling for a $420bn global investment.

These are enormous figures and - as is nearly always the case - the greatest need is in the poorest countries.

Numbers of trained surgical specialists per 100,000 people

  • UK: 35
  • US: 36
  • Brazil 35
  • Japan 17
  • South Africa: 7
  • Bangladesh 1.7
  • Sierra Leone (before Ebola): 0.1
Source: The Lancet study

'Surgery not just for urban elite'

A key challenge is training enough surgeons, anaesthetists and obstetricians.

In higher income countries such as the UK, there are around 35 surgical specialists per 100,000 people, whereas in Bangladesh there are 1.7 per 100,000 population.

Lead author John Meara Kletjian, professor in global surgery at Harvard Medical School, said: "Although the scale-up costs are large, the costs of inaction are higher, and will accumulate progressively with delay."

"There is a pervasive misconception that the costs of providing safe and accessible surgery put it beyond the reach of any but the richest countries," he added.

Experts in the field say surgery is a basic and crucial health need that has been largely ignored by the global health community, with tragic consequences.

"The agenda has been so much focused on individual diseases and, because surgical care is spread across so many diseases, it's been missed off," said Andy Leather said.

"There's a myth there isn't a burden of surgical disease, that it's too costly and it's just for the urban elite."

'People have given up'

London-based consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist, Shane Duffy, has recently returned from a surgical training camp in central Uganda.

There he has been teaching local doctors how to carry out very specialised 'fistula repair surgery'.
This is for women who have had obstructed labours.

Most sufferers lose their babies during child birth and are left with a damaged bladder, or bowels, which can leave them incontinent and rejected by their families.

"Unfortunately a lot of people have given up on the hospitals because they can't find surgeons there," said Dr Duffy.

"People are living in the community with debilitating conditions and they just can't find the skilled people to help them."

Facts on global surgery

  • 313 million operations are carried out worldwide each year.
  • Just one in 20 operations occur in the poorest countries, where over a third of the world's population lives.
  • There is a global shortfall of at least 143 million surgical procedures every year.
Source: The Lancet

Child Slavery Active In Haiti

Child slavery active in Haiti

Some Haitian children work for their keep but sometimes are abused, a panel revealed

Dinkinish O'Connor, Special to The Miami Times | 4/22/2015, 2 p.m.
In Haiti, a 9-year-old girl leaves her poor village to work as a domestic worker for a family in Port-au-Prince, ...
In Haiti, a 9-year-old girl leaves her poor village to work as a domestic worker for a family in Port-au-Prince, the island’s capital. She will not earn money, but the family will pay for her to go to school. She cooks, cleans and performs whatever domestic responsibilities are required in exchange for a promise of safety and and a better quality of life.
What happens sometimes though is that metal broom sticks become weapons, guardians become rapists and child workers become child slaves.

The “Honoring Victims of Slavery” conference held recently at Broward College explored the survival stories of three women. At 13, Dr. Katariina Rosenblatt was lured into child prostitution while she attended North Miami Beach’s John F. Kennedy Middle School. Evelyn Chumbow is an Alliance to End Slavery & Trafficking (ATEST) survivor advocate whose mother sent her away from her native Cameroon thinking she was going to get a good education. In Maryland, Chumbow’s education-less childhood included metal broom beatings. But the event focused on restavèk and Haitian child slavery survivor and advocate Marie Alina “Tibebe” Cajuste, who talked about head-splitting beatings, a symptom of her restavèk childhood.

Defining restavèk was the conference’s most intense discussion topic. For many of Haiti’s poor communities, a restavèk is a child slave. It is also a socially accepted system of overworking and sometimes raping and maiming children and adolescents. Restavèk is a Haitian Creole word derived from the French phrase, reste avec which means “to stay with.” In Haiti, it is an arrangement where a poor family sends their child to live with a family who will provide food, education and better quality of living in exchange for domestic work.

Cajuste is a restavèk descendent who was conceived when her mother was raped by the son of the family for whom she worked. Cajuste’s mother was forced to leave the house and gave birth to her in the street in front of a brothel where a market woman who was passing by cut the umbilical cord with a Gillette.
“Restavèks. This is real,” wrote Marie-Claire Dorcely, who was a human resources specialist for Miami-Dade County and senior manager of labor relations for Fontainebleau Miami Beach before she became human resources director at one of Haiti’s largest private universities. “Since I moved back to Haiti, I can see these children running errands or carrying water. It’s heartbreaking,” Dorcely said.

Diem Pierre, one of the panelists who works with Haiti Government Institute for Social Welfare and Research, said that Haiti’s anti-slavery laws acknowledge restavèk child domestic servitude as part of their anti-human trafficking initiatives and that the government is creating a committee against human trafficking. Pierre said differentiating restavèk from child work is key to stopping restavèk’s horrors.

“The lines are blurry,” said Pierre through translator Celia Roberts, a Broward College professor. “The word means different things to different people.”

Human rights organizations Beyond Borders and Zanmi Timoun report a pandemic of restavèk children living in inhumane conditions. The Beyond Borders website says the organization has been working to end restavèk since 1993 and estimates 250,000 children living in these conditions. While lives are being saved, there are also accounts of retaliation that include beatings and disappearance.

“A child’s hands were boiled as a form of punishment,” said Cajuste through translator and Beyond Borders grant director Coleen Hedglin.
Hedglin led the conversation regarding Haitian communities that are revolutionizing the island’s slavery stigma by encouraging community discussion and creating community-based protection committees where locals become active members in ending child domestic servitude.

“Haiti is not an easy place to make things happen,” said Free the Slaves Haiti director Smith Maxime regarding the Haitian government’s next steps for eliminating restavèk. “We need a plan; and it’s important for me to see the government take a lead.”

In the meantime, what’s a poor mother to do when she can’t afford to take care of her children? When practiced conscionably, can child domestic work create opportunity?

“My grandmother always had a ti fanmi (a little family member),” wrote Dorcely in a Facebook message. “Usually they are young kids that finished their primary years in the rural town where they are from and their parents are looking for a family in Port-au-Prince where they can stay with them and continue their education. Even if they helped out around the house or had chores, school was a requirement for these teenagers or young adults. We had many young ladies come through and once they reached a certain level of schooling, they were sent to learn a trade. My grandmother’s options were baking, sewing or money to start a little business or, of course, they were married off.”

Acra Statement On Cocaine, Heroine Found In Sugar Shipment

Haiti: Acra statement on cocaine, heroine found in sugar shipment
Photo from Foreign Policy Magazine: "Haiti's One Percent"
 PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (sentinel.ht) - Wealthy Haitian Businessman Marc Antoine Acra released an official statement for his family's 20-year old NABATCO sugar importing company after one of its vessels, the Manzanares, was found with 77 kilos of cocaine and 10 kilos of heroine on Wednesday April 15.

NABATCO Director General Marc M Antoine [file]
Statement from Director General Marc M. Antoine:

Faced with the progression of derogatory rumors, comments and press reports, the company stock Bag and National Trading Co. Ltd., better known as the NABATCO, represented by its Director General M Marc Antoine Acra, wants to review the record of narcotics seized on MANZANARES boat and bring some facts to the public's attention.

NABATCO is in the sugar trade for over twenty years and has maintained more than ten years of excellent professional relationships with Colombian society CJ DE azúcares Y mieles SA itself, sugar exports managed globally and enjoys an excellent reputation in this domain.

The NABATCO wishes to clarify that narcotics were found on April 22, 2015 in the hold of MANZANARES and not inside bags of sugar during unloading, done under the supervision of regular supervisory authorities and BLTs.

The NABATCO cautions that vessels carrying cargoes of sugar does not belong to the NABATCO, it is a Freight American company that is responsible for chartering boats for NABATCO, and payment of the freight is made to that company which itself rule with the owners of these boats.

The NABATCO more precise that transport of boats, are done according to normal procedures. These loads are proceeded under the supervision of Colombian port authorities checked by the narcotics control authorities and the security service before leaving the port of Buenaventura. Neither the Colombian port authority, the shipping agent or "surveyor WSS" has raised any irregularity mention about the sugar cargo.

The NABATCO remains available to the authorities to carry out investigations and come to a quick resolution of this unfortunate situation that has caused serious injury and affects the activities of several of its clients.

Done in Port-au-Prince, April 22, 2015

Three Electoral Councilors Threaten Resignation, Say Sources

Haiti: Three Electoral Councilors threaten resignation, say sources
6 of 9 electoral councilors and DG of the 2015 Provisional Electoral Council (CEP) [file]
 PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (sentinel.ht) - PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (sentinel.ht) - Three members of the Provisional Electoral Council (CEP) would be ready to submit their resignations if discharges for former executives were to be issued outside of the law, according to information learned by The Sentinel. If the resignations were to occur, free and fair elections in 2015 would become virtually impossible.

Along with a number of influential political parties who have already stated they would boycott the contests under those conditions, the first news of electoral councilors on the same wavelength came via Jonas Saintan on Train Matinal on Zenith FM.

This comes as protests at the Supreme Court of Auditors and Administrative Disputes (CSC/CA) have become frequent, two per week, and announcements by “popular” civil society organizations suggest on May 1, efforts will be multiplied.

Rumors suggest that President Michel Martelly would issue a decree to provide discharges to former ministers and most in Haiti are opposed to the notion. In the face of these rumors, the administration has remained silent on whether it would take such a measure, which is maintaining a significant level of doubt in the possibility of elections in 2015.

Ministers and persons who accept positions handling government funds waive their right to participate in elections until their management of those state funds are reviewed and discharged by Parliament. For many of Haiti’s highest positions, President, Senator and Deputy, candidates are required to have achieved a discharge of their duties for having managed government funds.

The process, according to law, for a discharge requires that an audit be performed by the CSC/CA and this report and audit be forwarded to a bicameral committee of the Parliament who will then present its recommendations to both chambers of the legislature, “The People’s House”, for a vote.
A number of ministers, including former prime ministers, aspiring to hold public office will not have obtained discharges by election time due to the dysfunction of the Haitian Parliament.

The electoral council of 2015 is one formed according to Article 289 of the Constitution which means, a number of civil society organizations participated in appointing it nine councolers, rather than in previous years, where councilors came from state institutions, mainly the National Palace.

Gems Of Northern Haiti Beckon

Gems of northern Haiti beckon

(New Zealand Herald) - By Jacqueline Charles
New tourism ventures are beginning to attract visitors back to this Caribbean nation, which suffered a devastating earthquake in January 2010.
Ile Ara, off the coast of Haiti, is a small island that legend says was a rendezvous point for Christopher Columbus and a local lover. Photo / Courtesy Steve Bennett/UncommonCaribbean.com (via Flickr)
Ile Ara, off the coast of Haiti, is a small island that legend says was a rendezvous point for Christopher Columbus and a local lover. Photo / Courtesy Steve Bennett/UncommonCaribbean.com (via Flickr)
Amid its woes, Haiti offers a striking rugged beauty that is obvious to adventure travellers - rolling hills, steep mountains and rocky terrain that make backpacking or mountain biking just as good a heart pumper as in any mountainous Caribbean island.

But the country also offers a quality often overlooked and even dismissed: a slice of paradise.
This was certainly the offering during a recent weekend jaunt to northern Haiti where I joined a group of curiosity seekers on a boat excursion around the country's picturesque coast.

Haiti's second-largest city, Cap-Haitien, I discovered, is more than just a historical find.

Our day began with a 30-minute bus ride from our hotel, the Mont Joli, at the top of a hill overlooking the historic city, past streets with their faded grandeur, up another mountain, past a village that not even this native realised existed.

We finally arrived at Labadie Beach, driving around the security fence that separates the locals from the weekly cruise passengers who lounge on the private stretch of Labadie that Miami-based Royal Caribbean leases from the Haitian government.

Our tour guide, Mike Trimble of Labadee Charters, guided us aboard his eight-metre fishing boat. Haiti-born Trimble is an American who grew up here.
He launched his excursions with business partner Maxim Laroche last year. Since then, the business has expanded from fishing excursions for cruise passengers to include private tours for the few tourists who do trickle in.

Trimble took us 8km into the Atlantic around Labadie Bay. About 30 minutes later, we arrived at Amiga Island or as the natives call it, Ile Ara, a small uninhabited island that legend says was a rendezvous point for Christopher Columbus and a local lover.

Awed by the trees, shallow green water and white sand encircling the entire island, my travelling companions wasted no time changing into their swimmers and jumping in. The water, which is great for snorkelling, was warm and amazingly not too salty.

Lounging around in the ocean makes you hungry. Lunch was a seafood affair, courtesy of local fishermen who came up to us in their wooden canoes with freshly caught fish, lobster and octopus.
Trimble's mate Pierre Jean-Baptiste, who brought his own special sauce that he prepared the night before, started a fire on the beach and grilled the seafood, using a variety of local peppers.

With our stomachs filled, we climbed back aboard the boat and continued our tour, which soon brought us to Cadras Beach.

The stunning white-sand beach has a natural cove where fresh and salt water meet. From the moment you step into the waist-high turquoise water, the scenery and calmness grab you.

You feel like you're in a gigantic swimming pool until you see the lush tree-lined landscape dotted with private homes accessible only by boat and owned mostly by wealthy Haitians and some French ex-pats.

As we enjoyed the tranquility, Trimble pointed out where British airline mogul Richard Branson stayed during a 2012 visit. Some owners, he said, rent out their bungalows to holiday makers seeking to expand their experience beyond his four-hour boat excursions.

I didn't think much could top Ile Ara, but the detour to Cadras really made the trip as we lounged in the water drinking Prestige beer, the local brew, and sipping coconut water out of the shell, freshly plucked from a tree.

Dining options in Cap-Haitien are limited beyond the hotels. However, no visit is complete without a trip to Lakay restaurant, the "It" place in the city, along the oceanfront boulevard in the Carenage neighbourhood.

Lakay, an open-air restaurant, offers large portions of authentic Haitian dishes such as Creole conch and fried goat as well as hamburgers and pizzas.

Started in 1999 by Philippe "Fito" Zephir and his wife, Anne-Claude, Lakay has its share of high-profile clientele. The day before our visit, Haitian President Michel Martelly lunched there, his visit shutting down the boulevard.

Cyril Bourlon de Rouvre, a French politician and sugar refineries heir, is a frequent guest. In fact, Zephir used to keep a special stock of Veuve Clicquot champagne just for him.

While you shouldn't count on getting Veuve Clicquot, you can count on sipping champagne in a laid-back ambience, with cultural performances on some evenings. There is also a DJ whose repertoire of konpa, reggae and American pop mixes had us dancing through the night.

For years, Cap-Haitien was mostly cut off, accessible only to those willing to fly in on a daily charter service from South Florida, or a smaller aircraft from Port-au-Prince. But a newly renovated international airport with a 2300m runway now allows for large commercial jet service.

American Airlines recently became the first US-based carrier to land here, and now operates daily non-stop service from Miami.

This is the city where Haiti as a nation was born. Visitors should climb either on foot or by horseback to the Citadelle Laferriere, about 45 minutes away in the town of Milot. A massive mountaintop stone fortress that overlooks the city, the Citadelle was built by newly freed Haitians to deter the French.

Two companies - Tour Haiti and Agence Citadelle - currently offer tour packages that include visits to the site. Trimble said he, too, is working on a three-day, two-night package that will include his boat excursions and visits to the Citadelle and San-Souci Palace.

Haiti, once a leader in Caribbean tourism, is now trying to re-enter the scene. Places still aren't equipped to deal with individual travellers, so it is best to go with a tour company that can arrange everything from hotels to tours to a Vodou drumming and ceremony.

Unlike Port-au-Prince, which offers a few name-brand hotels and South Beach-type restaurants, Cap-Haitien remains in an organic stage. The city has fewer than 1000 standard hotel rooms.

One of the newer hotels is Habitation Jouissant, a 13-room boutique hotel and a favourite of the country's president. There is a telescope in every room and on the vine-shaded veranda, enticing guests to take a visual tour of the city.

Furnishings are modern and reminiscent of South Beach in Miami, which isn't an accident. Owner Fred Beliard bought an entire floor of South Beach's Palms hotel before it was renovated by its new owner and had everything shipped to Haiti, right down to the bathroom fixtures.

Like others here, he's excited about the new direct flights from Miami and tourism opportunities. As we all should be.

Getting there: Air New Zealand has daily flights to Los Angeles. From there, American Airlines offers flights to Miami and on to Cap-Haitien in Haiti.
What to do: Labadee Charters offers a range of boat excursions off the coast of Haiti.

Haiti - Security: After Petit-Goave The Former Soldiers Go To Les Cayes

Haiti - Security : After Petit-Goâve the former soldiers go to Les Cayes
28/04/2015 10:38:01

Haiti - Security : After Petit-Goâve the former soldiers go to Les Cayes
After a noticed visit to Petit-Goâve last Friday http://www.haitilibre.com/article-13685-haiti-securite-des-anciens-militaires-des-fad-h-en-tournee-d-inspection.html it is the residents of Les Cayes, who were surprised on Saturday afternoon to see a group of former soldiers in fatigues, claiming to be of Armed Forces of Haiti demobilized, crossed their city without incident.

A presence that has aroused some apprehension in the population, who questioned about the presence of these soldiers, especially that no local authority seemed to be able to explain...

Following these repeated military presences, Lener Renauld, the Minister of Defence recalls in a press note "being the only body mandated to implement the Government's Roadmap for National Defense, no provision aiming a recruiting with mobilizing effect has been arrested so far.

Accordingly, any demobilized soldier challenged by issues relating to its status is invited to contact the competent service of the Ministry, namely the Military demobilized Management Office (BGMD).

Furthermore, the Ministry appeals to the sense of discipline and vigilance of the military, so that they take their distance vis-à-vis of all those who improperly claim to be of Armed Forces of Haiti, while sowing trouble and disorder, conduct incompatible with military ethics and the republican order."

See also :

HL/ HaitiLibre

Haiti: Defense Reminds, Army Recruitment Has Not Begun

Haiti: Defense reminds, army recruitment has not begun
Defense Minister Lener Renauld [file]
 PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (sentinel.ht) - Defense Minister Lener Renauld, on Monday, issued a press statement to remind the general public that no provision for a mobilizing effect on army recruitment has yet been arrested thus far.

April 27, 2015
April 27, 2015

Monday, April 27, 2015

Haiti - Agriculture: Animal Health Review And Perspective (2011 - 2017)

Haiti - Agriculture : Animal health review and perspective (2011-2017)
27/04/2015 12:45:03

Haiti - Agriculture : Animal health review and perspective (2011-2017)
In 1986 there were only 4 Haitian veterinarians across the country, today there are about 70 that frame 1,565 community animal health workers who provide services at the 570 communal sections of the country.

The strengthening of animal health programs have allowed to reduce losses due to animal diseases in livestock (among others: Coal, New castle, Classical Swine Fever, Teshen and parasitic diseases), to reduce the risk of animal diseasetransmission to humans and the risk of introduction of exotic diseases due to increased international trade.

Results obtained at 31 December (2011-2014) :

  • At the 570 communal sections of the country, about 75% of "Gwoupman sante bèt" (GSB) are functional and support the coordination of the various programs implemented by the Community veterinary agents such as livestock identification, vaccinations (coal, rabies and Newcastle), the revolving credit in goats. Moreover, federations were created n at least 60% of the 140 communes of country and have integrated the municipal Committees of animal health and the departmental committees monitoring of cattle identification program ;
  • The availability of veterinary workers in all communal sections of the country has been strengthened by the formation of 315 new veterinary agents (150 directly by the Ministry and 165 in partnership with NGOs such as Heifer International (114) and the Veterinary Christian Mission (51). 1,250 agents were recycled, the country now has about 1,565 community veterinary agents. These agents are not civil servants but vaccinate animals on behalf of the State and they are paid by farmers ;
  • Regular vaccination operations were carried out on an annual basis against anthrax, rabies, Classical Swine Fever (CSF) and Newcastle disease. In addition, a recovery system of breeders contributions is being structured ;
  • A vaccine against Teschen disease has been developed, tested and manufactured in large quantities (500 000 doses). It is currently available for farmers and vaccination was initiated ;
  • To support the national logistics of vaccination, vaccine conservation units (numbering 146)to veterinary use, consisting of solar refrigerators were installed in 95% of the 140 communes in the country ;
  • A partnership was concluded with a group of civil society, including the "National Federation of Haitian Milk Producers' (FENAPWOLA) for the collection of contributions of breeders who must ensure the replenishment of vaccines and other inputs for livestock identification with the Ministry of Agriculture through the Production Department and Animal Health ;
  • At the Veterinary Laboratory and control of food quality of Tamarinier, the Ministry benefits for the past 10 years, of the technical support of the Cuban cooperation, of the Tuskigee University, of the Chibas Foundation, etc... and of international financing, which allows among other things, to make the training of technicians. A restructuring plan of the laboratory was developed and some development works are underway. Premises were also prepared to host proximity laboratories in provinces ;
  • Quarantine stations have been built or rehabilitated in all ports and international airports and border crossings points ;
  • Since December 2014, the control of the slaughter of cattle has been strengthened throughout the territory of the North and Northeast departments, and was initiated in the other eight departments of the Republic ;
  • The Ministry of Agriculture has developed and initiated a "strategic and investment plan for the modernization of zoo-phytosanitary protection services and food safety" ;
  • The funding of Departmental centers of health protection has been negotiated with international partners and their construction are under study ;
  • The draft law on modernization of health care services has been developed and provides for the creation of the "Health Agency of animals, plants and health food inspection", also a Draft Veterinary Public Health Code was prepared. Meanwhile the Ministry has decided to consolidate all directorates involved in animal and plant health protection within the Health Protection Unit (UPS).

Perspective (2015-2017) :
The financing of the implementation of the "strategic and investment plan for the modernization of zoo-phytosanitary protection services and food safety" is provided in part through funding from the World Bank (RESEPAG Project), of the IDB (new grant agreement in preparation), the EU and the Treasury. This will allow to continue :

  • The strengthening of GSB in all communal sections as well as communal committees of animal health and of departmental committees for monitoring cattle identification program ;
  • The construction of the first 3 Departmental Centers of Health Protection;
  • The strengthening and sustainability of all regular immunization programs ;
  • The implementation of the restructuring plan for the Veterinary Laboratory and of control of food quality of amarinier. Some departmental laboratories will be equipped and put into operation ;
  • The operationalization of all animal and plant quarantine stations ;
  • The basic control of slaughter in all major abattoirs in the country that will evolve gradually towards true health inspection where slaughter conditions permit it ;
  • The preparation of a project to reopen the technical school of The preparation of a project to reopen the technical school health and animal production ;
  • The presentation of the resumption of the training program for new veterinarians with Cuban cooperation ;
  • Presented to the Council of Ministers of the draft law on the modernization of health protection services and of Veterinary Public Health Code.

HL/ HaitiLibre

The Argentine Contingent Of Gonaives, Is About To Leave Haiti

Haiti - Security : The Argentine contingent of Gonaives, is about to leave Haiti
26/04/2015 09:35:57

Haiti - Security : The Argentine contingent of Gonaives, is about to leave Haiti
The Argentine contingent of the MINUSTAH stationed in Gonaïves, about to permanently leave Haiti, a process that will end in May.

A total of 431 peacekeepers of the 20th Argentine Battalion (ARGBATT) participated in midweek to a formal farewell ceremony in the city of Gonaïves (northwest of the capital) in the presence of Sandra Honoré Head of the Minustah and Representative of the United Nations, the Argentine Ambassador to Haiti, Alejandro Guillermo del Mundo Escobal, of secretary of the coordination of military aid to the Argentine Ministry of Defence, Pedro Roberto Corti, the Commissioner Serge Therriault of the National Police of Haiti (PNH) and Berson Soljour, departmental Director of the PNH.

The Minustah recalled that "since its first rotation, no fewer than 8,560 peacekeepers of Argentina participated in the Minustah, including more than 200 women." In addition to patrolling the South American contingent in Gonaïves, provided water and medical assistance to orphanages and people in remote municipalities in the department of Artibonite (North West).

The soldiers of the Argentine contingent stationed in Gonaïves will join 47 other of aviation stationed in Port-au-Prince that will also complete their mission and return to Argentina over the next two or three weeks.

HL/ HaitiLibre

Dominican Republic Trains Haitian Air Traffic Controllers

Haiti - Security : Dominican Republic trains Haitian air traffic controllers
26/04/2015 09:57:43

Haiti - Security : Dominican Republic trains Haitian air traffic controllers
A delegation from the Academy of Aeronautical Sciences (ASCA) of the Institute of the Dominican Civil Aviation (IDAC) is in Haiti to monitor the training actions offered by the Academy to the Haitian aviation authority.

The IDAC's training Commissioners led by Juan César Thomas, Director of Studies, visited the facilities of the National Office of the Civil Aviation (OFNAC) of Haiti, in Port-au-Prince and Cap-Haitien.

To date, 23 Haitian technicians were trained by ASCA in the areas of air traffic control in Haiti. The graduation of a new class of air traffic controllers is scheduled for May 8 in the presence of the new Director General of OFNAC Jean Olivier, who expressed during that visit his desire to continue the bilateral relations between the two authorities.

S/ HaitiLibre

List Of All Candidates Registered For Legislative

Haiti - FLASH : List of all candidates registered for legislative
26/04/2015 11:20:25

Haiti - FLASH : List of all candidates registered for legislative
Since Friday the Provisional Electoral Council proceeds to the treatment of candidature files consisting in the review and validation of the documents of each of the candidates to the legislative elections 2015.

The list of all candidates registered we publish includes the name of the candidate, the banner of the political party, the elected position (deputy or senator), department and the constituency.

Remember that all registered candidates, will not be approved and many will undoubtedly go home...

A revised final list will be published at the end of processing of all files.

Let's us reclall that out a total of 2,350 preregistered, 2,029 have registered (86.3%), 321 unregistered. 162 women and 1,867 men or 9% female participation.

At the Senate on 305 preregistered, 262 have registered (85.9%), 43 unregistered.

At the deputation on 2,045 preregistered, 1,767 have registered (86.4%), 278 unregistered.

Download the list of all registered candidates (before verification) : http://www.haitilibre.com/docs/liste_des_candidats_inscrits_avril_15.pdf

HL/ HaitiLibre

New Developments On The Renewal Of The HOPE Act

Haiti - Economy : New Developments on the renewal of the HOPE Act
(Haiti Libre) - 26/04/2015 12:33:24

Haiti - Economy : New Developments on the renewal of the HOPE Act
The Association of Industries of Haiti (ADIH) congratulates the Commission on Ways and Means of the House of Representatives and the Finance Committee of the US Senate of having voted in committee on 22 and 23 April respectively, the legislative act which aims the Extension and Improvement of the "African Growth and Opportunity Act." (AGOA, H.R. 1891).

Recall that this legislation that was presented to both Houses by members of the two Democrats and Republicans parties on April 16, contains a fundamental provision, which extended the HOPE / HELP program for 5 years, until September 30 2025. It also plans to extend for a period of 7 years a key provision of the program known as the Value Rule name due to expire in 2018, until September 30, 2025 as well.

This extension will offer Haiti the certainty needed to continue on the path to success, ensure the revival of its economy and attract new investments, what will ensure the Haitian apparel industry a continuous growth. A sector that currently employed more than 36,000 workers (75% women), which produces 90% of exports of country, or 845 million US dollars.

The House of Representatives and the Senate is planning to review legislation HOPE / HELP ((Haitian hemispheric Opportunity through Partnership for Encouragement), before the end of May. It should then be signed by the US President to become a law.

These very encouraging results are the fruit of the efforts of successive missions since May 2014 by Georges B. Sassine and Lionel Delatour, respectively Adviser and Consultant at ADIH. They were sometimes accompanied by Carl-Frédéric Madsen, President of ADIH, Norma Powell, Director General fo CFI, Marie Carmel Jean-Marie, the former Minister of Finance and several members of the textile sector, including Fritz Felchlin of "Island Apparel", Alain Villard of "Palm Apparel" and Joseph Bloomberg of the Industrial Development Company (CODEVI).

These successive efforts coordinated by the firm Sorini & Samet, represent an important step in the resolute affirmation of support for Haiti's trade relations with the United States, hoping they will lead to investment and additional employment oriented on the law in force for at least the next 10 years for a sector that provides increased to 220,000 the number of textile workers in Haiti by 2020.

Visit To The Emergeny Shelter Of Larco

Haiti - Security : Visit to the emergency shelter of Larco
27/04/2015 09:43:40

Haiti - Security : Visit to the emergency shelter of Larco
Saturday, Rothchild François Jr., the Minister of Communication, paid a visit to the emergency shelter of Larco, whose work is now fully completed.

This center that meets international standards, has an accommodation facilities of more than 300 families and is equipped with modern facilities (health, cooking gas etc...) guaranteeing the temporarily displaced, convenience and security.

Serge Chéry, the Departmental Delegate of the West, who held talks with the Minister stressed the importance of this center, which just meet the expectations of a large part of the population exposed to floods especially in the rainy season

On the sidelines of his visit, Rothchild François Jr. pointed out, that this modern shelter, reflected the will of the President Martelly to put at the disposal of the population, infrastructure that can be used in case of major natural hazards.

HL/ HaitiLibre

Family Planning, Significant Problems Remain

Haiti - Social : Family Planning, significant problems remain
27/04/2015 10:16:29

Haiti - Social : Family Planning, significant problems remain
At a conference on the right to health of women, which was held recently to the FOKAL, attended by over 120 participants, Olga Benoit, representative of Solidarité Fanm Ayisyèn (SOFA), after having exposed the concepts and themes on human rights and stressed that sexual health can not be reduced to the absence of disease, recalled that Haiti had not registered the reproductive rights in its legislation.

Dr. Vladimir Larsen, President of the Haitian Society of Gynecology Obstetrics (SHOG) returned to the figures for the health of women in Haiti. The national fertility rate is 3.5 nationally, with one important difference between rural (4.4) and urban. Stating that the coverage for family planning, concerns only 31% of women of childbearing age.

Stressing that 90% of women receive medical care during pregnancy, 62% of them still give birth at home. Moreover he recalled the serious complications related to abortions [3rd cause of maternal mortality in Haiti] clandestine (infections, infertility, anemia, hemorrhage, mortality) and evoked with seriousness the work of health professionals to arrive to keep alive the patients came to the hospital following an abortion that went wrong.

Concerning early pregnancy, the President of the SHOG has noted the consequences for health and social and economic lives of young women not to mention the often painful impact for young fathers and children, calling for better information and availability for family planning.

The gynecologist Grand-Pierre Reynolds, Director of the Family Health Directorate of the Ministry of Public Health has provided an update on what has been achieved in terms of access to reproductive health services and what remains to be done. Explaining that although Haiti has begun its demographic transition, significant progress remains to be made. Thus, one women out of seven between 15 and 19 years has already given birth and family planning coverage does not cover the needs.

In addition, he noted that in surveys, Haitian women say they would like to have only two children, while the national index is 3.5 children per woman [at the regional level, Cuba has an index of Fertility 1.8 and Jamaica 1.9]. The question of the availability of services is essential, however, he explained that the Ministry of Health, was facing budget problems, weak organization of the referral system, a sometimes scattered and landlocked population and insufficient professionals [1 doctor per 8,000 inhabitants]. Among the responses to address the problems of access to family planning, include the information, the management of sexual violence, but also respect for patient choice and acquisition of rights to abortion. Stressing that while progress has been made in recent decades, important challenges remain for accessibility to family planning services.

HL/ HaitiLibre

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Inspection Tour Of Former FAD'H Soldiers

Haiti - Security : Inspection tour of former FAd'H soldiers
25/04/2015 09:42:05

Haiti - Security : Inspection tour of former FAd'H soldiers
Friday at about 2:00 pm, fifty former soldiers of the Armed Forces of Haiti (FAd'H) in olive-green fatigues, with to their head Sergeant Jean Fednel Lafalaise, Secretary General of the "National Coordination of Demobilized Soldiers of Armed Forces of Haiti" (CONAMIDH), toured the town of Petit-Goâve.

They passed, many bystander have applauded former members of the FADH, who spent a few minutes to the city center.

"[...] We demand the reinstatement of the Haitian army under the Constitution in force. Our passage to Petit-Goâve
is part of an inspection tour of our various bases we perform across the country," declared Sergeant Lafalaise on Radio Préférence FM, before continuing on to the South.

HL/ HaitiLibre / Guyto Mathieu (Correspondant Petit-Goâve)

Haitian Arrested In UN Peacekeeper's Death: Dominican Media

Haitian arrested in UN peacekeeper’s death: Dominican media
(Dominican Today) -

FIle photo of a protest in Ouanaminthe last year.
Santo Domingo.- A Haitian national suspected of the shooting death of a Chilean military member of the UN peacekeeping force in Haiti (MINUSTAH) has been arrested in his country, according to local  media quoting Dominican Army sources in Dajabón (northwest).

According to reports, the alleged killer of the soldier Andrés Rodrigo Sanhueza, was arrested at dawn Friday by Haitian police and MINUSTAH peacekeepers, along with two others in a mountain in Malfeti, Haiti, where they were hiding.

Sanhueza, who was serving with the Chilean Battalion, was in a vehicle near the Haiti town Ouanaminthe, along with other soldiers who, after arriving at the scene of a protest, "were fired on with guns, with a projectile impacting the Sergeant."

Haiti First Lady Sophia Martelly Holds Dual-Nationality

Reports: Haiti First Lady Sophia Martelly holds dual-nationality
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (sentinel.ht) - Sophia Saint Remy Martelly was born in New York, USA according to the Miami Herald and the Agence France-Presse. Even though the Haitian Constitution requires one to "Be a native-born Haitian" to be elected to the Senate, on Thursday she registered her candidacy for the seat.

It is possible that First Lady Sophia Martelly, who is running under the banner of her husband, Michel Martelly's, Tet Kale political party, is unaware of the Constitution and law regarding this matter. But if she was aware of it, she did not make comments to the press as to why she is not purposefully attempting to violate the law.

Aritcle 96 (1) of the Constitution of Haiti reads:

To be elected to the Senate, a person must be a native born Haitian and never have renounced his nationality;
Since the close of registration, three days are left for the period of contest. This is the time left where the Department Electoral Offices (BEDs) will accept objections to candidacies and review them.
The BEDs will engage in their own process of review the filed parts of aspiring candidates before publishing a name of approved candidates on May 1.

It appears the Provisional Electoral Council (CEP) will lose its credibility early if it were to let the First Lady pass.

A number of persons have commented on radio airwaves, including Fusion of Social Democrats (Fusion 38) President, former Senator Edmonde Supplice Beauzile, a candidate for the presidency.
Beauzile said that it was an illegal candidacy and she expected the CEP to act accordingly.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Layoff Of Dean Of TPI For Administrative Negligence

Haiti - FLASH : Layoff of Dean of TPI for administrative negligence
24/04/2015 11:07:13

Haiti - FLASH : Layoff of Dean of TPI for administrative negligence
Following the decision of Judge Lamarre Bélizaire to declare not guilty the alleged leaders of gang Galil, Woodly Ethéart, aka "Sonson Lafamilia", and Renel Nelfort aka "Le Récif" http://www.haitilibre.com/en/news-13663-haiti-justice-an-unacceptable-verdict.html , the Superior Council of the Judiciary (CSPJ), after having summoned the Dean Raymond Jean-Michel of the Court of First Instance of Port-au-Prince, in office since March 2012 decided to lay off him, for administrative negligence until the final disposition of his case. Recall that the Dean of TPI had said to not be aware of the criminal appeal proceedings in this case...

Resolution of the Superior Council of the Judiciary :
"Given the law of 13 November 2007 on the Statute of the Magistracy ;

Given the law of 13 November 2007 establishing the Superior Council of the Judiciary (CSPJ), and in particular its title 2 covering the exercise of disciplinary power against judges ;

Considering the second paragraph of Article 54 of the Rules of CSPJ ;

Considering that upon convocation by the Superior Council of the Judiciary the Dean Raymond Jean-Michel of the Court of First Instance of Port-au-Prince was heard ;

Considering that the Superior Council of the Judiciary has been forced to lay off the Dean Raymond Jean-Michel of the Court of First Instance of Port-au-Prince for administrative negligence ;

Considering that Article 34 of the Act of 13 November 2007 establishing the Superior Council of the Judiciary and Article 54 of the Internal Regulations governing the said Council provide the possibility of prohibiting the exercise of its function to the Dean Raymond Jean-Michel, until the final disposition of his case ;

For these reasons, the Superior Council of the Judiciary decided to lay off the Dean Raymond Jean-Michel of the Court of First Instance of Port-au-Prince for administrative negligence and declares that this measure is effective upon receipt of this.

Resolution taken in Council, Wednesday, April 22, 2015 at 4:00 PM

Me Jules Cantav
President of CSPJ"

Taiwan Donated 2,400 Tons Of Rice

Haiti - Humanitarian : Taiwan donated 2,400 tons of rice
(Haiti Libre) - 24/04/2015 11:38:42

Haiti - Humanitarian : Taiwan donated 2,400 tons of rice
Thursday, as part of the fight against food insecurity, the Taiwanese government made a new donation of 2,400 tons of rice to the NGO Food For The Poor for its various assistance programs for the poorest in Haiti.

The grant agreement was signed by Tsai Chiu-Hwang, Ambassador of the Republic of China (Taiwan) accredited in Haiti and Kareen Dolce, Executive Director of Food For The Poor in Haiti.

The Embassy pointed out that the poor population will benefits of this donation of 48,000 bags of rice of 50 kg, or a total of 120 containers.

Recall that in the context of their excellent cooperation, Taiwan has already made several rice donations to Food For The Poor for its food assistance operations in Haiti. http://www.haitilibre.com/en/news-10998-haiti-agriculture-signature-of-an-agreement-to-increase-rice-production-in-haiti.html http://www.haitilibre.com/en/news-6898-haiti-humanitarian-taiwan-donates-110-containers-of-rice-to-the-people-of-haiti.html

Haiti's Politicians Scramble To Register For Overdue Elections

Haiti's politicians scramble to register for overdue elections

PORT-AU-PRINCE (Reuters) - Candidates from as many as 125 political parties in Haiti on Thursday rushed to meet a deadline to register to run in the country's long-overdue elections later this year.

The impoverished Caribbean island has a history of turbulent elections, but that does not appear to dissuade candidates.

By late afternoon more than 2,000 people had registered for 119 seats in the Chamber of Deputies and 20 open Senate seats, according to officials.

Lines at the electoral office in Port au Prince poured into the street during the day. The deadline to register for the Aug. 9 legislative elections was set to expire at midnight.

"Individual people are allowed to form political parties," said Yolette Mengual, expressing a hint of resignation. Mengual, a member of the provisional electoral council that organizes the elections, said each party will be listed numerically on the ballot.

Among the last day entrants: First Lady Sophia Martelly. She waited until the final day to register her candidacy for Senate.

Haitians called in to local radio stations to question whether she is an American citizen, which would disqualify her. Like her husband, President Michel Martelly, she lived in the United States for several years before returning to Haiti.

International observers are hopeful the number of parties will decrease, producing a shorter ballot as politicians form alliances.

"A party could draw spot 126 but form a coalition with the party listed second," Mengual said.
Mengual said the electoral council cannot force parties to form coalitions, but it is recommending them to do so.

President Michel Martelly has ruled Haiti by decree since Parliament dissolved Jan. 12 when the terms of every member of the Chamber of Deputies, and a third of the Senate expired.

The Senate had already been operating with only 20 of its 30 seats occupied because of previously missed elections, and lost its quorum after Jan. 12. The elections have been delayed by factors such as political feuding and lack of funding.

Every mayoral post in the country is up for grabs, as are neighborhood leadership positions.

(Editing by David Adams and Andrew Hay)

First Lady Sophia Martelly Joins Candidates For Haitian Parliament

First Lady Sophia Martelly joins candidates for Haitian parliament

Haiti’s First Lady Sophia Martelly filed Thursday to run for a Senate seat representing the West department, which encompasses the capital of Port-au-Prince.
“What you suspected, it is so,” Martelly tweeted with a photo of her holding up her registration document.

Whether Martelly would seek a Senate seat in the Aug. 9 legislative elections or attempt to replace her husband, Michel Martelly, in the Oct. 25 presidential balloting has been a subject of much speculation among Haiti watchers.

President Martelly begins the final year of his five-year presidential term in May. If no one wins the first round of presidential elections on Oct. 25 out right, runoffs will take place Dec. 27.
The last day for candidates to register for parliamentary elections was Thursday after the Provisional Electoral Council extended the deadline a few days to give candidates living outside the capital and other major cities time to file.

As of Wednesday 2,313 Haitians had registered. There were 301 candidates for the 20 vacant seats in the Senate and 2,012 for the 119-member chamber of deputies, according to Haiti’s Le Nouvelliste newspaper.

The last-minute rush also saw several members of the private sector, including hotel developer Jerry Tardieu and Didier Fils-Aimé, the current head of the Haitian Chamber of Commerce, registering for the Chamber of Deputies and Senate, respectively. They were joined by singer Don Kato whose group Brother’s Posse had been banned by President Martelly in past carnivals. All registered under Verite, the new political platform created by former President René Préval.

Former Social Affairs Minister Gerald Germain also registered as did National Palace Spokesman Lucien Jura. Guy Phillipe, a former police chief who is wanted under a sealed drug trafficking indictment in the United States, also registered to run for the Senate. This will be Phillipe’s third try at elected office in Haiti since the time he led a rebel force against then-President Jean Bertrand Aristide that eventually forced him into exile.

It will be up to the nine-member electoral council to determine who is qualified to run. Among the criteria will be whether former government officials like Germain have the required certification — décharge — needed to show that they have not misused government funds.
Phillipe will have to show a good conduct certificate from the Haitian National Police.

And while Sophia Martelly has never held elected office before, she may find herself the subject of a legal challenge since she was born in New York. Under Haiti’s amended Constitution, double nationality is accepted as long as candidates have renounced their foreign citizenship. However, legal opinions differ about the process.

Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/news/nation-world/world/americas/haiti/article19318053.html#storylink=cpy

HBO 'VICE' Series Slams Aid Efforts In Haiti

HBO 'Vice' Series Slams Aid Efforts in Haiti

Courtesy of HBO

Vice correspondent Vikram Gandhi with Camille Chalmers, executive director of the Haitian Platform to Advocate Alternative Development.
Despite billions of dollars and earnest promises, living conditions for many Haitians remain deplorable five years after the devastating earthquake there. A central culprit is a broken U.S. foreign-aid system, with no easy fixes.

That is the grim takeaway from an investigation conducted by the news program Vice, titled "The Haitian Money Pit," to air Friday on HBO.

Vice reporter Vikram Gandhi spent two weeks in Haiti, population 10.3 million, in September visiting urban refugee-camps-turned-slums in the capital, Port-au-Prince. Missing were running water, electricity, and toilets.

"When you moved here, how long did you think you were going to stay?" Mr. Gandhi asks one resident of the tent city Delmas 33.

"Well, I didn’t think I would be here for even a year," the resident responds. "Now it feels like forever."

Mr. Gandhi also takes his audience to the outskirts of the city to the Canaan settlement, populated by thousands of Haitians left with nowhere to go after the 2010 earthquake. They have put down roots, building modest shelters, and eking out lives, far from the services of foreign nonprofits.

"What is odd is the Haitians who receive little to no foreign aid actually seem to be doing better than those in the designated relief areas," Mr. Gandhi concludes.

The Canaan settlement is home to one permanent structure — an $18 million soccer and recreation facility built by the International Olympic Committee.

On January 12, 2010, Haiti was brought to its knees when a 7.0 earthquake struck. It killed more than 100,000 people and leveled Port-au-Prince. The country was already one of the poorest in the world, with a long history of political corruption and violence.

The disaster triggered an outpouring of global support to the tune of $10 billion — the Red Cross raised $21 million by text message in eight days — and declarations from the world’s wealthiest nations that they would help Haitians rebuild.

There are some examples of good work being done in the country, Mr. Gandhi said.

"What was positive is when you really saw Haitians involved in community programs," he said in an interview with The Chronicle on Thursday. "There are leaders there. There are people who are really invested and have devoted their lives to rebuild the country."

But those cases are few and far between, he said. Less than one penny per USAID dollar spent ends up with Haitian organizations or businesses, Jake Johnston, an economist who studies the development work there, says in the VICE video. Instead, the money is funneled into contracts that are awarded to foreign organizations, experts, and construction companies, a sort of parallel economy in which the locals play no part.

USAID declined to be interviewed for the story.

One never-fulfilled promise highlighted in the episode was the U.S. government’s plan to build 15,000 houses at a cost of $53 million. That price tag later climbed to $93 million for the construction of 2,600 houses.

Meanwhile, the U.S. embassy issued a $70 million contract to build townhouses with pools for U.S. government personnel working in the country.

"Do we understand what aid is, for real? And is there really a system of accountability that is out there?" Mr. Gandhi told The Chronicle. "I think the answer is no, after being in Haiti and seeing how money was spent there."

USAID said it would provide a response to the program; The Chronicle will include that response as soon as it is received. 

Haiti Revives Malaria Eradication Aim

Haiti revives malaria eradication aim

A worker from Haiti's Ministry of Public Health and Population sprays chemicals to exterminate mosquitoes in a neighborhood of Petion Ville in Port-au-Prince on May 21, 2014©Hector Retamal/Getty
Fumigation: a Haitian government worker sprays pesticide to kill mosquitoes in Port-au-Prince

Half a century ago, the Dominican Republic and Haiti combined forces in a bold but ultimately unsuccessful initiative: to eliminate malaria from the island of Hispaniola. Now, despite continuing political tensions, they are uniting again for a fresh attempt.

“There is longstanding interest in Hispaniola to make it a malaria-free region,” says Patrick Kachur, chief of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which is working on the programme. “Both countries are interested and, politically, there is the will.”

Yet the experience of recent years — and the limited resources available — highlight the need for a more targeted approach.

Malaria and the mosquitoes that carry it were probably brought to the Caribbean by slaves in the late 15th century. Plantation agriculture helped its spread by creating stagnant pools of water allowing mosquitoes to breed.

Today, the island of Hispaniola is the last place in the region where the disease is endemic, and its continued presence has periodically led to cases spreading to nearby countries such as Jamaica. There are an estimated 15,000-30,000 cases a year in Haiti, and fewer than 50 deaths.
In the 20th century, malaria in much of the Caribbean and Central America was tackled by a mixture of extensive spraying with the pesticide DDT to kill mosquitoes, combined with swamp drainage.

Then, US funding for such programmes diminished in the 1960s, slowing the momentum.

Widespread use of DDT also went out of fashion, reflecting environmental concerns.

While the Dominican Republic had cut annual infections to just 21 by 1968, Haiti — already falling behind its neighbour economically and politically — struggled to keep pace, in turn providing a way for malaria to spread back across the border.
Since 2009, a fresh effort has been launched in conjunction with the two countries’ ministries of health and the Carter Center, a charity founded by former US president Jimmy Carter.

Its International Task Force for Disease Eradication concluded that elimination was technically feasible, medically desirable and economically beneficial. The aim, with estimated total funding requirements of $194m, is to end malaria on Hispaniola by 2020.

Jean Frantz Lemoine, head of Haiti’s malaria control programme, says he believes the elimination objective is worth pursuing, but he remains cautious about whether the scale of additional funding required is achievable.

According to the World Malaria Report 2014, support dropped from a recent peak of $8m in 2004 to almost zero in 2010, rising again since, but still to less than $4m in 2013. The good news is that in Haiti the parasite remains sensitive to chloroquine — a cheap and widely available medicine — as opposed to many other parts of the world where it is ineffective.
Furthermore, the introduction in recent years of rapid diagnostic tests has shown that malaria may in fact be less common in Haiti than was thought. But it has also demonstrated the poor quality of reporting. That highlights the need for more accurate compilation of test results to focus efforts where they are needed, using tools such as text messaging and geospatial mapping.
“Haiti offers a chance to use current tools with new strategies rather than current tools with the current strategy,” says Alan Magill from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which has helped fund the new programmes. “A simple redirection to target where the disease is will make a huge difference.”

There are other particularities of malaria in the region.

According to the CDC, in Africa mosquitoes typically bite overnight and indoors, while people are sleeping. In Haiti, by contrast, they tend to bite earlier in the evening, between 5.30pm and 9pm. They also typically do so largely outdoors, or fly outdoors after biting inside, rather than lingering on internal walls or ceilings.

That means insecticide-treated bed nets — despite being widely funded and distributed by donors in the country — are not particularly effective either in protecting people from being bitten or in killing mosquitoes. Indoor residual spraying with insecticide may also prove less effective than elsewhere.

Instead, specialists are examining how to provide “mass drug administration”, the idea being pre-emptively to provide drugs to populations at high risk of infection, in an effort to eliminate the parasite and stop it circulating.

Automatic Weapon Burst On The Residence Of A Candidate

Haiti - FLASH : Automatic weapon burst on the residence of a candidate
24/04/2015 09:38:52

Haiti - FLASH : Automatic weapon burst on the residence of a candidate
On the night of April 23 to 24, 2015, unidentified individuals fired bursts of automatic weapons in the direction of the private residence of Germain Alexandre-fils, candidate for deputy of Petit-Goâve under the banner of the platform "VERITÉ" [#69] led by former President René Préval and former Prime Minister Jean-Max Bellerive.

Germain Alexandre-fils and members of his office this Friday morning will give a press conference to fix their position.

Recall that Thursday 23, the population of Petit Goâve had reserved a triumphant welcome from the National road #2 at the height of Grand-Goâve o the city center, to the candidate for deputy of the City Soulouquoise, Germain Alexandre-fils, the man with the slogan "oui se oui, non se non".

HL/ HaitiLibre / Guyto Mathieu (Correspondant Petit-Goâve)

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Establishing The Rule Of Law In A Country Where Justice Hardly Exists


Advocates are on a quest to improve the quality of life in Haiti through legal education.
(The Atlantic) - By Jessica Carew Kraft
The president of the Haitian Bar Association, Carlos Hercule, knows that the rule of law in his country is tenuous, and that people have little faith in the justice system. "We have attorneys who [single-handedly] represent both parties in real-estate deals. We have people representing themselves as attorneys who have not been accredited. And we have judges and officials who accept bribes," he recently explained to me in French, through a translator.
His French is impeccable, but that’s another problem. French is the official language of the courts in Haiti, but as much as 95 percent of the population speaks only Creole, so most defendants—if they can even afford to hire a lawyer—can’t fully grasp what goes on during the court proceedings. There are no public defenders, and available legal aid is extremely limited. Adding to the disparity, as experts have pointed out, is the fact that many Haitian lawyers are typically invested in their own elite social status and rarely offer direct defense to the poor, which they perceive as debasing the profession. The result is that the vast majority of the country’s 10.3 million-plus people—roughly three-quarters of whom live on less than $2 a day—have no real access to justice.
Alleviating these deep-rooted structural problems, however, is all but impossible in a nation that’s still struggling to recover from its colonial legacy and the aftermath of the three decades it spent controlled by a brutal dictatorship—not to mention the catastrophic earthquake that devastated the country in 2010. So while the Port-au-Prince-based bar association is working to address those issues, it has decided that a more effective solution lies in training lawyers to uphold ethical standards and encouraging them to pursue public-interest cases. For many advocates, that the initiative is even happening—despite everything that Haitian society has suffered in the past—is remarkable.

Jérémie, a town of roughly 80,000 people in Haiti’s Western Grand’Anse province, is one community where this approach is being put into action, largely thanks to the local law school’s efforts to tackle the endemic problems plaguing the justice system. Jérémie was known in the early 20th century as an artistic enclave of the educated, biracial middle class that owned charming villas overlooking the Caribbean. Decades of escalating poverty, violence, and oppression under the Duvalier dictatorships eventually ravaged the area, but now the town is slowly regaining its regional prominence, in part because it wasn’t hit by the 2010 earthquake. A new partially built national road linking it to the country’s capital and support from religious organizations have also helped bolster the town’s development.
Still, it’s clear that Jérémie is situated within a developing country—one that last year received a ranking of 168 out of 187 on the United Nations’ Human Development Index. The dense town center is home to cement block structures holding up corrugated tin roofs and donkeys that trudge through the dusty streets alongside motorcycles and uniformed school children; raw sewage runs through street-side channels toward the trash-covered beach. Most households get their water from wells and only receive electricity during certain hours of the day—if at all.
The Catholic archdiocese operates a hospital and several elementary schools in town, and a cathedral is rising incrementally depending on when donations come in. In 1995, the town’s former bishop, Willy Romelus (who famously endured violent attacks for supporting former president Jean Bertrand Aristide), established a nursing school. That same year, he also partnered with Father Jomanas Eustache to found the École Supérieure Catholique de Droit de Jérémie (ESCDROJ), a law school that occupies the nursing-school property at night. Though Romelus is now retired, Eustache, who’s also a lawyer, remains an active clerical figure in the community and serves as the dean and chief fundraiser for the law school, on top of teaching several courses. Similar to his seminary classmate Aristide—who was the country’s first democratically elected president and recently created another law school in Port-au-Prince—Eustache is on a quest to strengthen the rule of law in Haiti through legal education. ESCDROJ is one of three or so accredited institutions conferring law degrees in the country (which is predominantly Catholic) and the first one to focus on training public-interest lawyers.
"We’re training lawyers to enter the court system, to maintain high ethical standards and advocate for the poor," Eustache told me. Citing the widely cited brain drain from Haiti of highly educated citizens, he went on to emphasize: "And we want our graduates to stay in Haiti."
In the absence of state support, priests like Eustache become enterprising, devoting their time to much more than supporting the spiritual life of their congregations. They establish schools, hospitals, and businesses, maintaining wide networks of donors to fund their institutions. Eustache, who is fluent in English (among other languages), regularly visits a number of communities in the U.S., maintaining relationships with the Haitian expats living there, as well as other Catholics supporting his mission.  
At ESCDROJ, 165 or so students pursue an undergraduate degree in law while also working to support themselves and, often, their families. To accommodate these needs, the law school holds classes during the evenings; students typically pull up on motorcycles around 6 p.m., arriving to Haitian konpa music blaring out of the open-air cement classroom. Still in their work clothes, the students sidle into wooden tablet desk chairs facing a laptop projector and speaker system—which like the rest of the facility’s electric-powered equipment have to rely on power from a generator in the evenings. The school’s library consists of a single, small room housing textbooks and a few computers with insufficient Internet. The heat remains even as the sun goes down, everyone visibly perspiring and clutching sodas or bottles of water. Mosquitoes start to hover.
Over eight semesters total, the law students work through a curriculum determined by Haiti’s Ministry of Justice. The curriculum has no elective courses, meaning that students’ exposure to topics like human rights and social justice depends on guest lectures—often from academics visiting from outside the country. Throughout the years, for example, the school has maintained partnerships with several American law schools: The Columbus School of Law at Catholic University, Seton Hall University’s School of Law, and the University of California Hastings College of the Law regularly fundraise and bring students and faculty to Jérémie to provide trainings in special topics. (I work for UC Hastings and heard about the Haiti initiative through the university; however, I traveled for and conducted my reporting independently, receiving no compensation or editorial direction from the institution.)
Curriculum aside, poor post-graduation outcomes present another problem. Though most ESCDROJ students graduate from the program, according to officials, the vast majority of graduates never become licensed attorneys because of significant obstacles at the last levels of training, often working instead as jurists (those who study and analyze the law but don't necessarily practice it). First, students must author an 80-page, originally researched dissertation, or memoire. This is a challenging task for many students, not least because Haiti’s education system and general culture prioritizes oratory skills. Plus, given that only half of all Haitians 15 or older are literate, Haitians are used to getting their information by word of mouth. And access to technology is scarce: Judith L’Amour, an administrator at ESCDROJ, guessed that at least half of the school’s students lack access to computers apart from those that they get on campus or at work, while half of Jérémie’s residents, according to estimates, don’t have regular electricity at home. It’s common to see students of all ages studying outside at night using the light from municipal street lamps.
Meanwhile, the memoire imposes a financial burden on students on top of the school’s $500 annual tuition. (Aside from a few scholarships, students have to pay tuition out of pocket because student loans aren’t available). Researching and writing the dissertation can detract as much as a year’s time from paid jobs, and students are expected to arrange for and pay a lawyer to advise them.
Then, after the memoire, students are required to work for two years, again under the supervision of a practicing attorney, in order to become licensed. Most of the time, these positions are uncompensated—even in the public sector; in fact, students often have to pay for any training received from senior lawyers in private practice, according to officials.
And though exact data isn’t available, it’s undeniable that attorneys in general are very rare in Haiti. Each year fewer than 20 lawyers are admitted to practice in the Haitian bar despite the hundreds of students who are estimated to graduate from law school annually. Lori Nessel, a law professor at Seton Hall who has close ties with ESCDROJ, explained that the overly rigorous requirements create a paradox of human resources: "In order to become a lawyer in Haiti, you have to have a lawyer supervise you," she said. "In a country with a shortage of lawyers, it is very difficult to grow new ones."
Eustache, noting that Haitian legal education focuses on classroom—rather than experiential learningsays he’s making it a priority to solve the serious lack of client advocacy experience for ESCDROJ students. And those efforts are starting to come to fruition. In 2008, Roxane Edmond-Dimanche, an ESCDROJ graduate, decided to organize a coalition of American and Haitian lawyers to establish Haiti’s first criminal-justice clinic as inspired by American clinical programs. After all, similar projects funded by private foundations and governments to create legal clinical programs at law schools in South Africa, Poland, and Chile have been cited as successful exports of this American educational model.
After years of fundraising and development, much of which was spearheaded by foreign law schools,  the ESCDROJ clinic is scheduled to open this summer in a building designed by the American architect Tom Zook, made of repurposed shipping containers and sitting on a parcel of Eustache’s property. Edmond-Dimanche and Gabrielle Paul, another ESCDROJ alumna, will codirect and supervise the clinic, which is also aimed at providing practical experience to all interested third- and fourth-year students. Several days a week, students are slated to offer legal counsel to indigent clients from all over the Grand’Anse region, specializing in representing victims in cases of sexual violence.  
Jérémie’s overcrowded jail, with its squalid, tiny cells, is another rationale for the clinic. According to an investigation by Edmond-Dimanche and Paul, 90 percent of the nearly 200 prisoners in the facility have never been arraigned, which is technically required within 48 hours of arrest, because Haiti lacks a bail system. And, because of the lack of resources, many prisoners serve years without ever seeing a judge—often much longer than they might have been officially sentenced, the two found. "We believe that the public defense offered by the legal clinic will help the problem of severe overcrowding of the jail in Jérémie," said Paul, who clarified that the clinic’s public-defense services will only be available in non-sexual violence cases to avoid situations in which they’d have to represent both an alleged rapist and the victim.
By offering legal assistance to victims of sexual violence, Paul said, the clinic will raise the status and legitimacy of these cases, which officially have only been prosecutable in Haiti for the past decade. "Victims, families, and communities have become desensitized to violence against women, and judicial impunity is the norm," said Nicole Phillips, an American lawyer with one of Haiti’s only public-interest law firms, the Bureau des Avocats Internationaux (BAI). Phillips, who recently guest lectured at ESCDROJ as the leader of a delegation from UC Hastings, pointed out that rape wasn’t established as a crime in the Haitian legal code in 2005.  
The BAI has filed dozens of criminal complaints on behalf of rape victims under the recent code update; 18 have gone to trial, of which 14 have been successful and two are currently on appeal. And the legal clinic aims to bring more perpetrators to justice. "These prosecutions demonstrate hope in the broken system—police, prosecutors, judges and Haitian lawyers are taking these cases seriously and bringing justice to poor Haitian women and girls," she said.
Phillips is also optimistic about the community-education efforts that the clinic plans to implement. She said that the BAI, which is based in Port-au-Prince, receives most of its cases from grassroots women’s organizations whose leaders are themselves victims of violence. Phillips said that the cases help build the capacity of the organizations and restore their faith in the justice system. The same can be done in the Grand’Anse region, which encompasses 400,000 people spread over 738 square miles. "The 80 percent poor majority also need to be trained about their human rights and the legal system to change the system," she said.
The clinic might also help shift attitudes among ESCDROJ students, which are still somewhat patriarchal, Paul said, despite the school’s progressive leadership. An exercise during one recent class provided instruction in various countries’ definitions of consent for sexual intercourse—a linchpin for convicting rapists. (Haiti lacks a law on consent, and police usually require the victim to produce a certificate from the state hospital documenting any injuries to open a case.) During the class I observed students were instructed to debate this question: If the wife doesn’t consent, has the husband committed rape?
"If my wife refuses me and she is not sick, then she has committed an offense against me," one male student stated in front of the class, which was 20 percent female at the time of my visit. Paul immediately jumped up to powerfully rebut his argument: "Are you claiming that your wife is your property? Because slavery is illegal!" she shouted, poignantly referencing the history of slave rebellion in Haiti and winning applause from the crowd. (Haiti gained independence from France in 1804, making it the only nation to be founded by slaves.)
Paul, who brought her American born 17-month-old daughter with her to class, is particularly passionate about fighting sexism. Paul said that the attitudes and behaviors of men govern her approach to parenting: No one but the most trusted family members are allowed to take care of her daughter. "I’ve seen rape victims who are babies who are 4 years old," she said.
While Paul is excited to codirect the legal clinic, she knows that its opening may be delayed, possibly for months. The fundraising isn’t complete, and the agencies tasked with managing supplies for the clinic have been slow to deliver. The three shipping containers that will make up the structure are awaiting placement on the foundation, blocked by trees that need to be removed before the forklift can drive through. Paul is also aware that the clinic’s location, far from the center of Jérémie, may present big transportation challenges to potential clients scattered across the large region. "We were supposed to get a vehicle so we can provide transport for victims, but I’m not sure we are getting it now," she said. Nevertheless, the partners supporting the clinic say that any delays are only temporary, and it’s possible for students to offer counsel in other locations if necessary.
Even without the clinic, ESCDROJ’s record of  promoting public-interest law is inspiring other Haitian law schools. The aforementioned Aristide Foundation’s law school in Port-au-Prince, which opened in 2011, is similarly promoting human rights and the rule of law in its curriculum and bringing in international collaborators to provide clinical training. ESCDROJ has demonstrated that this kind of training can significantly improve the legal culture in just a few years.
"I was struck on my last visit to see how many of the legal professionals in Jérémie were trained at ESCDROJ. Judges and prosecutors, the clerk of the court, the chief of police, and law professors are their graduates," Nessel said. "The school is fulfilling its initial mission to create lawyers educated with a real sense of justice and rule of law who will go on to change the system there."