Thousands of Haitian babies born in tents

Aug. 30, 2011 at 12:53 PM
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PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti, Aug. 30 (UPI) -- Twenty months after the devastating Port-au-Prince earthquake, thousands of Haitian children are being born in tent camps, aid workers say.

Haiti had the highest maternal and child death rates in the Americas before the quake. Pregnant women among the 600,000 people still living in camps are often going without prenatal care and giving birth without medical assistance to babies who go for days or weeks without seeing a doctor, The Miami Herald reported Monday.

"The camps are not an appropriate place for delivery and not for a newborn," said Olivia Gayraud, health and nutrition manager in Port-au-Prince for Save the Children. "You have wind, rain, mosquitoes and cholera. The conditions of the life of these families with newborns are very difficult. It can be a disaster."

Emmanuelle Schneider of the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said many aid groups are pulling out of Haiti. She said only half the aid the United Nations requested for Haiti was funded, and many groups simply do not have the money to keep working.

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