We conducted an observational, ecologic study at the locality (hamlet) level in the Centre Department, Haiti (Figure 1), which covers an area of 3,487 km2, is >80% rural, and in 2015 had a population of ≈746,236 (13). Centre is administratively subdivided into 12 civil townships, known as communes, each of which has an urban area (Figure 2, panel A). Each commune is further subdivided into communal sections, the smallest official administrative unit, which include several hundred localities. Localities are groups of residences and are the smallest spatial unit culturally used to define the place of residence for rural populations. However, the number, spelling, and delimitations of rural localities are not officially established, and only estimated geolocalization and populations are available (14).

Topographical map of Haiti and its departments, highlighting Centre Department (red outline). Altitude increases from light green to dark green. Inset shows Haiti in relation to neighboring continents.

Geographic and demographic details of Centre Department, Haiti. A) Outline of the department’s 12 communes, principal urban areas, altitude raster, rivers, roads, and position of markets. B) Polygon outline and estimated population for each locality, positions of unimproved and improved water sources, and vaccinated areas.

The largest towns in Centre are Hinche and Mirebalais. Centre has a mean altitude of 447 m (range 84–1,820 m) and is situated northeast of the Montagnes Noires and Montagnes de Trou d’Eau mountain ranges and south of the Massif du Nord. Hundreds of rivers and streams provide natural water sources in the department.

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