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Will in Haiti

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When I started the Public Health Education Program in July of 2008, I began by teaching five bright and highly motivated boys, ages 16-20, who were residents of Castel Pierre Village, information about a variety of issues pertaining to public health including hygiene, sanitation, nutrition and water quality along with testing, treatment and prevention strategies aimed at reducing the incidence of several diseases endemic to the area. Last night, the boys graduated from the program and received a certificate, stipend and lab coat. Thanks to the generosity of several people in the states, the Public Health Team (PHT) will also be receiving "Sante Piblik" (Public Health in Creole) t-shirts, backpacks, hats and scrubs.

The purpose of the program is to spread as much knowledge relating to public health as possible, in hope that through education we can empower those most vulnerable in rural Haiti--the children. In order for this program to be a success it is crucial that the teaching is done through peer education, teaching Haitians to teach other Haitians. For this reason, I wanted to find a reliable and motivated student who can serve as my apprentice, who can then go on to teach a small group of interested “public health workers,” who will then go on to teach their peers in schools throughout nearby villages.

As public health workers, they are helping to teach health education classes, running mass treatment programs for scabies, ringworm and tuberculosis, and doing daily surveys of the living quarters looking for health hazards and accompanying children who are sick to the clinic and making sure that the children on TB and Malaria meds are adhering to their regimens. Paul Farmer had it right when he said that the only way to make it sustainable was to teach Haitians to treat Haitians. It won't happen overnight.

The program I have designed was made specifically according to the needs and interests of the residents at Pwoje Espwa and nearby villages. The lesson plans are translated into both English and Creole. Accompanying each topic covered, is an oral/written exam and or an oral/written project assignment for the students to complete. These means of evaluation are in place to ensure that the public health students retain a firm grasp on the material so that they may teach their peers in both informal and formal settings. The program is designed to be completed in three months time, which includes a 2-week period of mock-teaching, where the public health students will take turns presenting all of the material we have covered over the span of the program.

The following is a list of the topics covered in order as to which they were originally taught:

· Malaria—testing, treatment and prevention

· Scabies—treatment and prevention

· Prevention vs. Treatment

· Home Remedies and Popular Beliefs

· Witchcraft, Magic and the Evil Eye

· Common Causes of Sicknesses

· How to do a Physical Exam

· How to Care for a Sick Person

· Alternative Medicine

· The Healing Powers of Water

· The Use of Antibiotics

· How to Give Medicine—Measuring Doses

· First Aid

· Nutrition

· Prevention via Cleanliness

· Prevention via Sanitation

· Parasites—testing, treatment and prevention

· Prevention via Vaccinations

· Prevention via Other Habits and Behaviors

· Dehydration, Diarrhea, Dysentery and Vomiting—treatment and prevention

· Tetanus and Rabies—treatment and prevention

· Ringworm

· Teeth, Gums and Mouth Health

· Sexually Transmitted Diseases—testing, treatment and prevention

· HIV/AIDS—testing, treatment and prevention

· Children’s Health

· How to Teach

Public Health
Fall 2008 classPublic_Health_Fall_2008_files/Public%20Health%20Education%20Program.docx

Equipped with new shirts, hats, backpacks, lab coats and watches, the public health team is official. These uniforms wouldn't have been possible without the help of generous donors in Rhode Island who had the gear made special for our team.

Ambroise (Sam) Mackenzy,  Webert Constant, Delince Pierre, Marckenson GednaPublic_Health_Fall_2008_files/Public%20Health%20Education%20Program_1.docx
The ClassPublic_Health_Fall_2008_files/Public%20Health%20Education%20Program_2.docx
$269,000 Raised since May, 2008!
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