Routine immunizations for tuberculosis, diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, and measles have been "available" in Haiti since 1977, rubella since 2009, and Hib and Hepatitis since June of 2012. In January 2013, pneumococcus and rotavirus are scheduled to be added to the schedule.
Lymphatic filariasis is a mosquito-spread worm infection that is present in 80% of the regions of the country, which really means in every region of the country.
As a young boy, the only things I recollect about TB were Christmas seals, which supported the care of individuals with the disease, and Sanatoriums, where those infected were isolated from the communities at large.
Almost a third of a century has passed since AIDS secured a top spot as one of the medical scourges of the twentieth century. In Canada, a diagnosis of HIV is no longer a death sentence and some, I suspect, presume the disease is something like polio, an historical infection that we no longer need to be concerned about. In Haiti this is certainly not the case. Even in Canada the infection continues to be a health care challenge.
Cholera is as old as recorded time but amazingly, this infection is new to Haiti!
After the devastating earthquake in January 2010, help from all around the world poured into Haiti.
The spontaneous and enormous outpouring of international aid at that time raised a hope that notwithstanding the abject misery and the rubble, that perhaps a new and better Haiti would emerge.
For two weeks in March of 2010 I was part of a physical medicine rehabilitation team in Haiti. Team Canada Healing Hands for Haiti (TCHHH) is a Haitian-approved Non Governmental Organization (NGO) and a registered charitable organization in Canada.
Children Without Worms (CWW), an organization dedicated to the worldwide control of worm disease, performed a survey in five Nicaragua communities in 2005, and documented a prevalence rate for worms of 49%!
I've travelled a lot and I've always made sure to keep my immunizations up to date. In preparation to travel around the world in 1974 I was inoculated for smallpox, typhoid (3 shots), cholera (2 shots), typhus, yellow fever, and the plague. These immunizations are either no longer offered or are administered as different and improved vaccines. The latest preventative therapy for cholera is Dukoral, a liquid ingested weekly for two weeks prior to travel and which offers protection for about six months.