Unmet health needs identified by Haitian women as priorities for attention: a qualitative study

Reprod Health Matters. 2012 Jun;20(39):93-103. doi: 10.1016/S0968-8080(12)39602-X.


This 2009 qualitative study investigated Haitian women's most pressing health needs, barriers to meeting those needs and proposed solutions, and how they thought the community and outside organizations should be involved in addressing their needs. The impetus for the study was to get community input into the development of a Family Health Centre in Leogane, Haiti. Individual interviews and focus group discussions were conducted with 52 adult women in six communities surrounding Leogane. The most pressing health needs named by the women were accessible, available and affordable health care, potable water, enough food to eat, improved economy, employment, sanitation and education, including health education. Institutional corruption, lack of infrastructure and social organization, the cost of health care, distance from services and lack of transport as barriers to care were also important themes. The involvement of foreign organizations and local community groups, including grassroots women's groups who would work in the best interests of other women, were identified as the most effective solutions. Organizations seeking to improve women's health care in Haiti should develop services and interventions that prioritize community partnership and leadership, foster partnerships with government, and focus on public health needs.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Food Supply
  • Haiti
  • Health Education
  • Health Services Accessibility / economics
  • Health Services Accessibility / organization & administration*
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Needs Assessment*
  • Qualitative Research
  • Residence Characteristics
  • Sanitation
  • Social Support
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Water Supply
  • Women's Health*