Long Term Health Care

Traditional short term medical work teams have typically focused on immediate attention to the medical needs of patients in Haiti. This is extremely important and a much needed service. However, with an estimated 50- 90% of the health problems encountered in these mobile clinics being preventable, the obvious need is for more teaching and definitive action for prevention of disease and illness in the first place. As a result, HCDP has taken action to employ local health care workers, involve local schools in dialogues and demonstrations, and participate in long-term planning to achieve a higher level of prevention.

The goal of our long term health care projects is to educate the local peoples in the Artibonite Valley so that they can follow the best practices in health care and better protect themselves against illnesses that could be otherwise prevented with the proper knowledge.

Listed below, HCDP currently has three projects that address long term health care in Haiti.


 

Preventative Health Care Training

Olina Florestal, pictured left, is HCDP’s community health worker. She has been trained at the Jubilee School in Gonaives and she visits many villages in the surrounding Artibonite Valley in order to promote preventative health care. In the picture she is taking a patients blood pressure in an effort to treat hypertension, or high blood pressure, which is a common diagnosis in Haiti. Uncontrolled high blood pressure increases your risk of serious health problems, including heart attack and stroke but it can be avoided by maintaining a healthy weight, cutting back on salt, and eating a balanced diet.

 

Filming_villagers_a_1Public Health Video Project

Even in a developing country like Haiti, television is becoming an increasingly popular medium and provides great potential for teaching. But what happens when a movie is made with local actors speaking to other Haitians in their native Creole? When Oneal Tankersly, a long time missionary and HCDP volunteer from Harding University, began to produce local videos in order to teach principles of preventative long term health care more effectively, the impact was much greater than we could have originally anticipated. These videos have been produced both on VHS tapes and DVD’s to make them inexpensive and available to a wide audience in Haiti. Some of the videos are even played on local television stations!

Latrine Construction

img_3279Proper  disposal of human waste is one of the most important public health measures in any country. Educating Haitian people about the importance is very important. However, because of the scarcity of wood and other building materials, developing appropriate latrine models for the surrounding communities and then gaining acceptance and implementation is a major challenge.

HCDP has partnered with some communities to provide building materials for community latrines which then have been constructed by local artisans. These “Arbor – loos” consist of the construction of temporary pits with a temporary hut which then become the soil base for planting trees and orchards. These provide for appropriate waste disposal as well as providing positive  ecological benefits and food production.