After years of Medical Mission work, I found myself asking “What do they do when we are gone?”
Fortunately I stumbled upon the Hesperian book Where There is No Doctor. I was so inspired by the concept of allowing the villagers to learn to manage their own health. So, I started a nonprofit organization whose primary purpose was to form a community health program.
I went to work reading the wonderful books by Hesperian and now 4 years later a remote mountain village in Haiti has a working community health program. We have a relationship with a school there and started our program with 10 of the teachers from the school.
I was amazed how hungry they were for health care knowledge. We built a series of lessons based on the books. Now we have 27 students and 2 paid healthcare workers. We keep a Village Medical Kit at the school and one of our workers serves as a school health coordinator. He treats minor illness of the 800 school students. So if they come to school ill, he uses the book as a reference to treat them.
Our volunteers treat their families, friends and neighbors. They now have a good working knowledge about how to differentiate between a normal cold verses pneumonia. They treat asthma, skin infection, burns, hypertension, parasitic infection and many others.
CI Haiti runs 3 medical mission trips a year to the region and presents classes on each trip to the volunteers. The knowledge of how to identify and treat normal illness combined with the ability to identify when higher level of care is required is life-saving.
Thank You Hesperian!
Deborah Marrington CRNP
Director CI Haiti