Haiti – Social : Health entrepreneurs fight malnutrition in their communities
Entrepreneurs in rural Haiti are taking action to end malnutrition in their communities, with the support of USAID and Fondasyon Kole Zepòl (Fonkoze) through the Aksyon Kominotè nan Sante pou Ogmante Nitrisyon (AKSYON or Community Health Action to Improve Nutrition) Program. This year alone, the Program has screened nearly 75,000 children for malnutrition in all of Haiti’s ten Departments, including 138 communes, 591 communal sections, and 5,285 localities.
The American Ambassador accredited to Haiti Michele Sison declared : “The AKSYON program not only helps fight and prevent malnutrition throughout Haiti. It also creates opportunities for the community health entrepreneurs to grow their own businesses while making a difference in their neighborhoods.”
Let’s recall that AKSYON is a 5-year, 14 million dollar program implemented by Fondasyon Kole Zepòl (Fonkoze) starting in August 2016. AKSYON works through FONKOZE’s nation-wide network of community health stores called Boutik Sante to bring reliable, affordable, life-saving health products, information, and services to rural Haiti. AKSYON enables Fonkoze and USAID, through the Boutik Sante Program, to deepen malnutrition interventions.
Through the USAID-funded AKSYON program, FONKOZE’s 1368 Community Health Entrepreneurs now conduct malnutrition screening campaigns in their communities and with support from registered nurses identify cases of malnutrition and refer them to nearby facilities for treatment. Subsequently, Community Health Entrepreneurs and nurses conduct three months of follow-up visits to make sure the children remain healthy and strong. Through the USAID AKSYON program, they also sell other health products that promote health and nutrition such as antibacterial soap, hand sanitizer, iodized salt, moringa powder, vegetable seeds, oral rehydration salt, and water purification tablets, among others.