Canada and PAHO sign an important agreement for Haiti: Essential Health Care for Mothers and Children (SESAME) project

Port-au-Prince, March 28, 2017—A new partnership between the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization and the Government of Canada aims to reduce the number of maternal and infant deaths addressing reproductive needs of women as well as health care priorities of newborns and infants in Haiti.

The SESAME project aims to improve the health, the lives and rights of women and children in Haiti and to advance the unfinished agenda on women’s health from a development perspective. Its strategy is to provide greater access to quality sexual and reproductive health services for women, and postnatal care for mothers and their children in the context of extreme poverty. It is also an essential contribution to strengthening the organization of health services at both the national and regional level.

“This agenda places great importance on improving women’s and children’s health in Haiti, one of PAHO’s top priority areas”, said Dr Luis Codina, PAHO/WHO Representative in Haiti.

The SESAME (Essential care for Mothers and Children) project, , will support 45 referral hospitals, 10 at the departmental level and 35 community hospitals in all departments in the countryThe core interventions will provide increase the number of women who give birth in a health institution with quality health care and without financial barriers.

“The project will improve the well-being of Haitian women and children through an innovative approach that strengthens core health services functions, with renewed efforts to implement solutions and stay resilient after recent downturns in Haiti,” added Dr. Codina.

parents and infants wait in a hallway of a haiti hospital

Key components of the project include: establishing performance based contracting ; developing a strengthening plans for each hospital; trainingto improve personnel competencies of  on sexual and reproductive health and child health. Furthermore, improving hospital management and improve information system to have quality health data.

The priority action areas highlighted in the SESAME project approach are fully in line with the strategy and policies on women’s and children’s health approved by the member countries of PAHO/WHO as well as the strategy for Universal Access to Health and Universal Health Coverage

The CA $39.8 million project will be executed by PAHO/WHO in collaboration with Global Affairs Canada over the course of four years.


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