Skip directly to search Skip directly to A to Z list Skip directly to navigation Skip directly to page options Skip directly to site content

Remarkable Progress Five Years after Haiti Earthquake

Haiti rebuilding national public health system with help from CDC

Five years after the devastating earthquake in 2010 left millions in need of urgent medical care, Haiti has made significant progress toward rebuilding the national public health system.   CDC has led the reconstruction of the health sector to establish disease surveillance systems, enhance laboratory capacity, and develop human capacity in clinical services, epidemiology, and public health leadership.   Working with the Haitian government, CDC has: 

  • Increased the number of disease detectives to quickly detect outbreaks and effectively respond, and established a program with more than 250 water and sanitation technicians to help rural areas to improve drinking water.
  • Tested more than 900,000 Haitians for HIV resulting in lifesaving treatment for over 62,000 HIV-positive adults and children.
  • Made significant advances in efforts to eliminate malaria and lymphatic filariasis from Haiti, as well as improvements in tuberculosis treatment.
  • Built new facilities for the Ministry of Health for laboratory, epidemiology and research staff with support of Public-Private Partnerships and CDC Foundation.
  • Increased childhood vaccinations for preventable diseases including measles. A CDC-supported survey showed that vaccination rates had greatly improved.

The synergy between the post-earthquake response and the existing PEPFAR platform following the 2010 earthquake enabled CDC-Haiti to rapidly expand its mission to support the rebuilding of the national public health system and implementation of other activities related to global health security, including capacity building for the prevention, detection, and response to potential epidemic diseases and natural disasters.

Contact Information

CDC Media Relations
(404) 639-3286
media@cdc.gov

Spokespersons

Thomas Kenyon, MD MPH

Thomas Kenyon, MD MPH

Biography

Thomas Kenyon, MD MPH

"Following the earthquake, CDC expanded the partnership with the people of Haiti to not only support their fight against HIV/AIDS but to support post-earthquake reconstruction and rebuilding of the health system, and the subsequent cholera epidemic."

Thomas Kenyon, MD MPH - Director, Center for Global Health

CAPT Jordan W. Tappero, MD, MPH

CAPT Jordan W. Tappero, MD, MPH

Biography

CAPT Jordan W. Tappero, MD, MPH

"It brings personal and professional satisfaction to see the Haitian people building back better with the support of CDC and partners. Five years after the earthquake, not a day goes by where CDC and the Haitian people are not working side by side to improve health and safety in the country."

"Even before the earthquake Haiti had the lowest coverage for safe water and sanitation in the Western Hemisphere. Cholera showcased this immense but existing problem and led to thousands of deaths. Although improvements have been made, there is still a long road ahead for ensuring safe water and appropriate sanitation for every Haitian."

CAPT Jordan W. Tappero, MD, MPH - Director, Division of Global Health Protection, Center for Global Health

Shannon Hader, MD, MPH

Shannon Hader, MD, MPH

Biography

Shannon Hader, MD, MPH

"PEPFAR resources, brought to Haiti by CDC and USAID, enabled the scale-up of critical HIV services in the country. The 2010 earthquake severely impacted those services, but ongoing PEPFAR commitments supported the recovery of the national HIV/AIDS program. One year after, all critical HIV services that CDC supports were performing up to or beyond their pre-earthquake standards, and the programs continue to make great strides."

"For example, from 2009 to 2010, the number of HIV-positive pregnant women receiving antiretroviral treatment to prevent transmission to their children decreased by 766 (41%), due to service interruptions after the earthquake. However, during recovery from 2010-2011, the number of women served increased by 2,337 (210%), exceeding by 1,571 (84%) the total receiving ART in the year before the earthquake. Similar recoveries occurred for other HIV services."

Shannon Hader, MD, MPH - Director, Division of Global HIV/AIDS, Center for Global Health

Laurence Slutsker, MD, MPH

Laurence Slutsker, MD, MPH

Biography

Laurence Slutsker, MD, MPH

Malaria

"The island of Hispaniola is the last remaining bastion of malaria in the Caribbean, with Haiti accounting for more than 95% of cases. Partners are now aligned to eliminate malaria from the island once and for all."

Lymphatic filariasis

"A coordinated and sustained effort of mass drug administration over the last decade has positioned Haiti to eliminate the transmission of Lymphatic filariasis by 2020."

Laurence Slutsker, MD, MPH - Director, Division of Parasitic Diseases and Malaria, Center for Global Health

Rebecca Martin, PhD

Rebecca Martin, PhD

Biography

Rebecca Martin, PhD

"Since cholera first appeared in Haiti in 2010, the Haitian Government has made progress on several interventions including improved water, sanitation, and hygiene promotion as well as including cholera vaccine as one component of their National Plan for Cholera Elimination."

"The communities have been accepting of cholera vaccines and want to be vaccinated."

Rebecca Martin, PhD - Director, Global Immunization Division, Center for Global Health

David Lowrance, MD, MPH, DTM&H

David Lowrance, MD, MPH, DTM&H

Biography

David Lowrance, MD, MPH, DTM&H

"Haiti has been able to make a remarkable recovery from the 2010 earthquake. From HIV/AIDS to maternal health, from childhood immunization to TB, from sanitation to malaria, we’ve seen tremendous progress over the last five years in terms of the accessibility and quality of health services, although much remains to be done."

"Today 87% of HIV-positive pregnant women receive treatment to prevent the transmission of HIV to their babies. That is one of the highest rates in the developing world and an incredible joint success for PEPFAR, the Global Fund, and the Government of Haiti."

"A sign of how far Haiti has come is that today we are talking about strategies to eliminate two vector-borne illnesses from the island of Hispaniola: malaria and lymphatic filariasis by 2020. Haiti accounts for 99 percent of all malaria cases on the island and 97 percent of lymphatic filariasis cases in the Western Hemisphere."

"Although much progress has been made since 2010, any success, however, remains fragile. However, there is a growing cohort of at-risk children who have been missed by the routine immunization program and there has been slow and limited progress in restoring the physical health infrastructure."

"Today we are faced with a huge question of how to sustain the gains made in the health sector in Haiti with limited resources."

David Lowrance, MD, MPH, DTM&H - CDC Country Director, DGHP Director, and Acting DGHA Director in Haiti

Top