High Poverty and Hardship Financing Among Patients with Noncommunicable Diseases in Rural Haiti

Gene F. Kwan, Lily D. Yan, Benito D. Isaac, Kayleigh Bhangdia, Waking Jean-Baptiste, Densa Belony, Anirudh Gururaj, Louine Martineau, Serge Vertilus, Dufens Pierre-Louis, Darius L. Fenelon, Lisa R. Hirschhorn, Emelia J. Benjamin, and Gene Bukhman

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Poverty is a major barrier to healthcare access in low-income countries. The degree of equitable access for noncommunicable disease (NCD) patients is not known in rural Haiti. We evaluated the poverty distribution among patients receiving care in an NCD clinic in rural Haiti compared with the community and assessed associations of poverty with sex and distance from the health facility.

Among patients with NCD conditions in rural Haiti, poverty and hardship financing are highly prevalent. However, clinic patients were less poor compared with the community population. These data suggest barriers to care access particularly affect the poorest. Socioeconomic data must be collected at health facilities and during community-level surveillance studies to monitor equitable healthcare access.