Haiti is a food insecure country with possible presence of multiple micronutrient deficiencies; however comprehensive data to this extent is lacking or anecdotal. This study aimed to analyze and summarize the current situation of micronutrient deficiencies in Haiti.
A retrospective analysis of malnutrition was performed using both published and unpublished data available in documentation centers. An extensive literature review was firstly performed, following by a comprehensive series of consultations including site visits and interviews with leading agencies working in nutrition.
Micronutrient deficiencies are pervasive in Haiti as 32% and 59% of children under 5 year were vitamin A and iodine deficient in 2012, respectively, with 25% children severely iodine deficient at the national level. The latest (2012) national assessment of hemoglobin levels indicated an anemia rate of 65% among children under five and of 49% among 15-49 years old women; whether this anemia is typically related to iron deficiency remains an elusive question because ferritin or soluble transferrin was not assessed. Zinc deficiency is estimated to be widespread, but no clinical data is available.
Micronutrient deficiency remains a severe public health problem in Haiti that requires multiple actions from different sectors including agriculture, health, trade and others to corporately increase the availability and accessibility of nutritious foods to all households.