Building a Healthy Future in Haiti

A joint project between Heart to Heart International and BD continues to make a positive impact in Haiti, in part by providing training for healthcare workers in communities across the country.
What follows is a guest post from a member of the most recent BD Volunteer Service Team recently returned from Haiti.

stephanieHeart to Heart International continues to build an empowered and healthy Haiti through its training programs to address basic human needs

By Sushmita Bandopadhyay, BD VST member

“I want my community to be saved from malaria. I am the only one in my family who has stepped forward to fight it. My parents are happy that I am able to help Ayiti,” says Stephanie (pictured above), a community health agent who got involved in this year’s healthcare worker training in Thiotte, Haiti.

There are a number of young people like Stephanie who are committed to improving basic healthcare situation in Haiti. They walk miles to attend training on water, sanitation, hygiene and infectious diseases that will be exercised to address the community health challenges. After the training, she will now be able to do temperature and blood pressure checks for her community.

Thiotte 025

The healthcare worker training was conducted by BD volunteers in Thiotte and in Belle Anse. Doctor OP Kansal, a BD volunteer, trained the participants on safe child delivery techniques in resource-limited settings. The group also went through a simulation exercise to better understand the concept.  As compared to last year’s training, this year’s curriculum distinctly included the WASH program that will help the community health agents greatly.  A staff member of HHI agreed that this training conducted by volunteers is very appropriate in this time when cholera seems to be prevalent in parts of Haiti, and added that the training manuals are a great reference for the health workers.

For some months now, HHI has been working on Kore Fanmi ­- a pilot program of the Haitian Government, funded by The World Bank in partnership with UNICEF, that intends to improve the provision of basic services to poor and vulnerable families in Haiti.  Several young and old people have been chosen to be a part of this movement who are undergoing training for Kore Fanmi.  Each trainer is responsible for a hundred families and makes regular visits to ensure family needs are understood and addressed well. Trainings and awareness workshops are being conducted across parts of the country and HHI is now working in Belle Anse in its second phase of the project.  Says John, a Kore Fanmi agent who attended the five-day workshop, “This year’s training has increased my knowledge and I feel I can contribute towards a healthier life in Haiti.”

Dr. OP

Over the years, such trainings have taught quality improvement methods to help communities manage the problems with confidence. For example, people are now eager to apply the cholera trainings and make progress. Health agents express an interest in attending such trainings which help them make a real change in the environment. Empowered with more knowledge and regular trainings, the community health care workers are daring to dream now. “My dream for Haiti is that every home has a ‘latrine’. I want to contribute towards this dream for my country,” says Andre, a participant with a twinkle in his eye.

These types of training programs and awareness workshops remain critical and are aiding communities in Haiti to live a better quality of life.

Categories: Global Partners , Haiti Operations