~ PARTNERING WITH COMMUNITIES FOR BETTER HEALTH ~
The goal of the Community Health Department is to promote health and well-being and to prevent disease and injury. Our Community Health Program guides the outreach, education and prevention strategies that are currently being used to educate healthcare professionals and community members about primary prevention of Cholera, Malaria, HIV/AIDS, TB, Diabetes, as well as promoting family planning, maternal health and child health and social well-being. These services are delivered to more than 100 mountain villages in the Jérémie area. Some of the health services include: immunizations, de-worming, vitamins distribution including vitamin A, well-baby care, frequent primary healthcare checks, and nutritional/health counseling.
There are six main objectives for the Community Health Department:
- Guide the outreach, education and prevention strategies used to educate healthcare professionals about primary prevention of infectious and chronic diseases such as HIV/AIDS, TB, and diabetes.
- Partner with the community to disseminate and apply new knowledge.
- Promote reproductive health and family planning.
- Promote maternal and child health and social well-being.
- Promote the resilience of families and communities.
- Collect and analyze data for the purpose of improving program delivery.
One of our great accomplishments in many of the villages is the establishment of fathers groups which work together toward understanding the importance of their participation within the family unit as well as the overall community.
Communities are committed to self-reliance, collaboration, and empowerment of all members relative to health and well being.
In some of the villages served by HHF
- Community banks have been established;
- Careful track of patient information is kept at the main clinic data bank; and
- Haitian volunteers organize health fairs and repair roads for easier access for HHF health teams.
Currently, HHF has nearly 50 village health agents who are trained to educate and provide basic primary health care to members of their communities. One example is that mothers are taught oral rehydration for children with diarrhea, reversing the diarrhea with pennies’ worth of salts to replace lost electrolytes in sick children. Subsequently, diarrhea deaths in children—a rapid and painful death—have been significantly decreased.
The health agents are supervised by Haitian Health Foundation nurses and medical doctors and are evaluated frequently.