Some issues facing children in Haiti

Haiti has the highest rates of infant, under-five and maternal mortality in the Western hemisphere. Diarrhoea, respiratory infections, malaria, tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS are the leading causes of death.

Some 60 per cent of people, primarily in rural areas, lack access to basic health-care services.

Numerous schools and hospitals have closed because teachers, social workers and health providers could not go to work for fear of violence.

It is estimated that about 5.6 per cent of people aged 15-49 years old in Haiti are living with HIV/AIDS. This includes about 19,000 children. Antiretroviral drugs are extremely scarce.

As many as 2,000 children a year are trafficked to the Dominican Republic, often with their parents’ support.

Only a little over half of primary school-age children are enrolled in school. Less than 2 per cent of children finish secondary school.

Approximately 1,000 children are working as messengers, spies and even soldiers for armed gangs in Port Au Prince.

Source: UNICEF

To learn more about Haiti on the web visit:

BBC providing an excellent country profile: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/country_profiles/1202772.stm#facts