The delegates’ last morning was an exciting one as they started the day with a breakfast meeting with the US Ambassador to Haiti Pamela L. White. Ambassador White and the delegates discussed the US’s investments in Haiti’s health and development. The meeting was a great opportunity for the delegates to engage and learn more about the US’s overall role in Haiti.
Following their meeting with the Ambassador, the delegates learned about supply chain management as they visited a warehouse run by and met with staff from the Supply Chain Management System (SCMS) project. SCMS, a PEPFAR-funded project through USAID and implemented by the Partnership for Supply Chain Management, saves lives by providing critical medical supplies to those in need in Haiti and worldwide. SCMS’s activities are focused on ensuring the provision of best quality anti-retroviral (ARV) drugs and other HIV commodities through needs assessments, forecasting, procurement, shipping, warehousing, and distribution at the national level. SCMS improves infrastructure, provides technical assistance, and improves the ability of clinics to manage supplies to ensure proper storage. SCMS was instrumental in saving lives after the January 2010 earthquake and the subsequent cholera outbreak in Haiti, by providing commodities for the emergency response and by procuring and distributing cholera-related commodities. As of 2013, SCMS also manages the national pharmaceutical waste management program as part of its efforts to help strengthen Haiti’s health system.
Before concluding the tour with a debrief discussion, the delegates met with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) In-Country Director, Dr. David Lowrance, and the CDC’s Senior Policy Advisor for Health Systems and Strengthening, Zara Ahmed. Lowrance and Ahmed provided the delegates with an overview of the CDC’s work in Haiti, highlighting another way the US invests in Haiti’s development.
After a whirlwind week full of meetings, site visits, and events, the delegates departed Port-au-Prince with a greater understanding of how US investments in Haiti impact Haiti’s health and development.