Community health worker administering vitamin a to students under 5 

Hope for Haiti Excels at Unite For Sight’s Global Health and Innovation Conference

 

Jennifer Lang, Program Manager April 27, 2012

On April 21, 2012, Hope for Haiti was honored to share our Pilot School-based Public Health Program to attendees of Unite for Sight’s Global Health and Innovation Conference. Based at Yale University, this year’s Conference focused on making a sustainable difference in the fight against poverty worldwide by extending public health education and interventions.

Community Health Worker administering Vitamin A to students under 5 Hope for Haiti Community Health Workers
Community Health Worker administering
Vitamin A to students under 5
Hope for Haiti Community Health Workers

Keynote speaker Jeffrey Sachs highlighted the need for more Community Health Workers in Africa to truly reach the poorest of the poor in their homes and schools. Back in Southern Haiti, Hope for Haiti has successfully trained 24 Community Health Workers (CHWs) who live and work in 12 rural communities. Each CHW teaches at least one hour of Public Health curriculum per week to students at the local Hope for Haiti supported school. They also extend their knowledge through community meetings and first aid. This innovative approach has extended healthcare access to over 2,400 students at a cost of less than $15 per student/year.

We were honored to present at Unite For Sight and share our mission with other talented individuals in the fields of international development and healthcare. Hope for Haiti representatives were able to learn about new technologies aimed at improving healthcare in low-resource settings and to meet with other organizations working around the world. Honest Tea President and keynote speaker Seth Goldman summarized the feeling of the Conference when he cited a Chinese proverb to an audience filled with those working to make a difference; “Those who say it cannot be done should not interrupt the people doing it.”

For more information about Unite For Sight or the Global Health and Innovation Conference please click on the link below:

http://www.uniteforsight.org/conference/

A special thank you to Hesperian Health Guides for providing the global health community with accessible Knowledge for Action: http://hesperian.org

Mirlande and loudena with their exams 

Hope for Haiti Evaluates Students’ Public Health Knowledge in Rural Communities

 

Jessica Jean-Francois, Program Manager, April 21, 2012

The Hope for Haiti Public Health program is successfully training community health workers and educating students in public health and preventative care. This month we had the opportunity to assess some of the 2,400 students that benefit from the program on their knowledge of the several themes taught by the community health workers in their schools. The results were astonishing and the process was very beneficial. Most of the schools that participate in the program are in extremely rural parts of southern Haiti. Since many of the schools only reach up to the 4th grade, we developed an exam to test the 4th grade at every school and compared their scores. At each school, the student with the highest grade received a gift from Hope for Haiti during our bi-annual site visits. From the exam, we were able to learn more about the success of the program in the communities. We identified the themes that the students understood the best and which ones they wanted to learn more about. We received strong feedback about what is going well and developed ideas for improvements.

Mirlande and Loudena with their exams Ricardo listens closely Ricardo receives a celebratory pen from Hope for Haiti for his success on the exam
Mirlande and Loudena
with their exams
Ricardo listens closely
during a public health lesson
Ricardo receives a celebratory
pen from Hope for Haiti for his
success on the exam

It was in the small mountain community of Grenodière that we met Ricardo D’Haïti. Ricardo received a perfect score on the exam. When asked how he managed to receive a perfect score Ricardo answered “I listen closely to everything the community health workers say and I study at home.” Ricardo wants to one day become a doctor. In Plaçon, sisters Mirlande and Loudena attend a school, which is a 3-hour hike with 7 river crossings to the nearest market. When people fall ill in the area, the community has to carry them down this long and treacherous 3-hour path just to get them to the nearest hospital.

The young people that benefit from the Hope for Haiti Public Health Program are learning how to prevent common illnesses because oftentimes prevention is the only defense they have.  It is the smartest thing they can do. The students know that learning about keeping good hygiene and addressing early symptoms of illness properly can save lives.

Ricardo watches closely as the public health nurses treat a pretty nasty wound Ricardo with the Hope for Haiti First aid kit The Class in Plaçon with their community health workers
Ricardo watches closely
as the public health nurses
treat a pretty nasty wound
Ricardo with the Hope for Haiti
First Aid Kit held in Grenodie Çre
The Class in Plaçon with their
community health workers