Hope and Health for Haiti


Dr. Bhutta Q&A:

Bethesda Referral and Teaching Hospital will host the 1st Annual Haiti Collaborative of North America on April 29th in Lawrenceville, Georgia.

Dr. Bhutta is a world expert on maternal and child mortality prevention and he shared some quick thoughts in the Q&A below as he prepares for the Collaborative, where he’ll be the featured speaker. His perspective will be extremely helpful at this meeting as we seek to partner for a bigger impact in Haiti.


BRTH: What is the most alarming thing you’ve learned in your global studies on infant and postpartum mortality?

Dr. Bhutta: The overwhelming evidence suggests that almost 70% of the deaths are easily preventable with access to proper care and the right strategies for implementation. Many of these interventions can be properly and safely performed in remote locations with the right delivery platforms and health workers.

BRTH: Describe the current situation for pregnant women and newborns in Haiti?

Dr. Bhutta: Desperate. An estimated seven thousand newborns die there every year and with every crisis such as the floods this past year, this number escalates. The country has as yet to rebuild its core infrastructure and health system after the devastation of the earthquake and its aftermath.

BRTH: Bethesda Referral and Teaching Hospital is an envisioned facility for Port-au-Prince that directly addresses these issues. Of all the organizations trying to help, why does this one resonate with you?

Dr. Bhutta: Bethesda understands that success is met only when dozens and dozens of NGOs, public, private organizations work together for collective good. I’m lending my support to them for the 1st Annual Haiti Collaborative of North America with that specific goal in mind. I’ll be outlining the need in Haiti in detail and encouraging the attending organizations to work together for enhanced and meaningful impact.

BRTH: Who should attend this Collaborative meeting?

Dr. Bhutta: Anyone interested in saving the lives of women and children in Haiti should join us. This would include organizations who are well-established and actively working in Haiti today as well as those who have the passion to get involved.

BRTH: Do attendees have to be health care workers?

Dr. Bhutta: No, not at all. No doubt we will need health care workers at the hospital and in outlying clinics, but we also need people with diverse skills, time and passion who are willing to use it to improve outcomes in Haiti. The more we work together, the better the outcomes.

BRTH: If people want to learn more about Bethesda and the Collaborative meeting, we encourage them to go to www.brth.org. Thank you Dr Bhutta, we will see you in Atlanta.

Dr. Bhutta: Absolutely. I’m looking forward to being part of dialogue.

Dr. Zulfiqar A. Bhutta is the Robert Harding inaugural chair in Global Child Health at the Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, co-director of the SickKids Centre for Global Child Health and the founding director of the Center of Excellence in Women and Child Health at the Aga Khan University.

He also holds adjunct professorships at several leading universities globally, including the schools of public health at Johns Hopkins University, TuftsUniversity, Boston University, University of Alberta, as well as the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

Professor Bhutta was educated at the University of Peshawar (MBBS) and obtained his doctorate from the Karolinska Institute, Sweden. He is a fellow of the Royal College of Physicians (Edinburgh and London), the Royal College of Pediatrics and Child Health (London), American Academy of Pediatrics and the Pakistan Academy of Sciences.

Dr. Bhutta’s research interests include newborn and child survival, maternal and child undernutrition and micronutrient deficiencies. He leads large research teams in Toronto, Karachi and Nairobi with a special interest in research synthesis, scaling up evidence-based interventions in community settings and implementation research in health systems research.

Two New Articles Posted:

The first is the November 11th report on Hurricane Matthew’s effect on Haiti by the Office for the Coordination of Human Affairs (OCHA), which is part of the United Nations, linked here.

The second is about mapping the geography of child mortality in Haiti, linked here.