Our group of 11 have returned from Jeremie, Haiti– having spent a week working with the Haitian Health Foundation. As usual, everyone on the team worked happily and non-stop. We were assisted by local translators, who proved to be good interpreters and cultural informants. Team members took hundreds of photos featuring the countryside, Jeremie town, and beautiful babies, children and adults.
Our main work focused on a girls’ adolescent health promotion program, which is a continuation of work that clinical groups of baccalaureate PHN students have done for 5 years. We assist with the health screenings that are required in the program, including anemia testing and treatment, tetanus vaccination, and growth and BP monitoring. We also did a health education skit about decision-making and peer pressure, which brought some laughter to the girls who watched and participated in the outdoor arenas.
In addition to adolescent health, we weighed and gave vaccines to many infants and children, learned about the public health and primary health care programs of the Haitian Health Foundation, and provided comfort nursing care to severely ill men and women in a local hospice. At every site, the group was amazed at the grateful response of the Haitian people we both worked with and cared for.