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Haitian Culture Essay

1112 words - 5 pages

“Haiti is the poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere” (UNICEF, 2014, para. 1). The population is nearly all descendants of African slaves who won independence from France in 1804, making it the second country in the Americas after the United States to free itself from colonial rule (Girault, 2013, para. 2). But in 1915, the United States invaded Haiti to stabilize political unrest. Guerrilla warfare fought against US presence until they left in 1934 after a negotiation. Then a bunch of unstable regimes succeeded one another through 1957 when a president was elected and declared himself President for Life. After he died, his son took his place, but was late exiled to France. This ...view middle of the document...

Mortality rates in Haiti are extremely high. “Haiti has the highest rates of infant, under-five and maternal mortality in the Western hemisphere. Diarrhea, respiratory infections, malaria, tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS are the leading causes of death” (UNICEF, 2010, para. 4). The average household income in Haiti is around $230 per year. Because of this low income, situations such as poor living conditions, crime, violence, and prostitution become part of the normal, everyday live within the lower class. This increases the mortality rates of the people of Haiti. Dr. Lolagne, previous private practitioner in Haiti and 2005 recipient of the HIV Leadership Award, once said, “For people who live in poverty there are very few options for entertainment, so sex becomes a big deal. People can’t go to the movies or watch television or listen to CD’s, so what so they do for recreation? They have sex” (Green, 2005, para. 8). This increases the risk for and infection of HIV/AIDS. This is important for the nurse to know because it is a deadly disease. The nurse should work with the Haitian people to help them understand how to prevent such a disease from being transmitted. Another nursing consideration would be to work to increase the awareness of all deadly disease mentioned above.
“Only a little over half of primary school-age children are enrolled in school. Less than 2 percent of children finish secondary school” (UNICEF, 2010, para. 9). Eighty percent of Haitians cannot read or write, which increases the likelihood of them living in poverty. The nurse could help Haitians who cannot read or write understand materials by using visual or oral methods and materials. It may also help to have family members present throughout the interactions. “Uneducated Haitians do not generally show their lack of knowledge to non-Haitians” (Colin, 2006, p. 12). Instead they are more comfortable with those who do not speak English and who live in Haiti or the Dominican Republic.
An article written in 2014 discusses the statistic from Haiti that women are twice as likely as men to have HIV/AIDS. The underlying factors may be the earthquake and socioeconomic status. After the earthquake in 2010, many people (including women) were left homeless, without food, and without support financially. These conditions led to the rape of many women. Before...

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