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Daily Report Global Health Conversations: Reflections On Haiti’s Health System

January 12 marked one year since a major earthquake struck Haiti killing hundreds of thousands and significantly damaging its capital city, Port-au-Prince. To learn more about how the quake has affected health care in Haiti and get a sense of health priorities moving forward, Jaclyn Schiff of the Kaiser Daily Global Health Policy Report spoke with Wesler Lambert, a Haitian-born physician who has worked with Partners in Health/Zanmi Lasante since 1997.

In the interview, Lambert explains how access to health care has improved since the earthquake and discusses the recent cholera outbreak. The response to cholera “was a successful” one, he said, noting the collaborative work from all types of organizations, not only those focused on health care. Although the response to cholera so far has been good, Lambert also cautioned, “Remember that we are in the dry season … we have to prepare our institutions for the peak of cholera during the rainy season.”

“Training is a major issue,” Lambert said in response to a question about improving Haiti’s health system in the future. Better infrastructure and “supplying the health care institutions with adequate materials to respond to the health needs of the population” are other priorities, he said. “The cholera outbreak taught us that we need to train more people, especially those working in the nursing sector … [and] find a better way to retain them,” he said.

This audio interview is part of the Daily Report’s Global Health Conversations series featuring global health thought leaders discussing topical issues pertaining to U.S. policy on global health.