Roseline rests after arriving at a public hospital in Santiago, Dominican Republic. She wasn’t in full labor and was asked to go home and return when her contractions were closer together. Roseline, however, had nowhere to go. She wasn’t going to risk crossing the border again.
Haitian women make up roughly half of the patients giving birth in the Dominican Republic. They come because they don’t have access to health care in Haiti. At the public hospitals, they can get free health care. Some women see a doctor only when they go into labor with no previous medical care. Often this means the health of the mom is poor; they’re malnourished and anemic. The infant mortality rate in Haiti is the highest in the Western Hemisphere. 52 per 1,000 live births. For the mothers, the rate is even higher.