In Haiti, especially in rural areas, schools serve as important centers of the community. On February 2, 2020, Centre de Sante de Marmont came together with Summits Education and Santé to host a community mobilzation day with close to 300 parents and community members as well as 75 students who participated in mini-trainings around various topics. This day marked the first of Santé’s expansion strategy to provide essential health education training and services by partnering with community school communities served by the project’s almost 200 clinics.
Unlike traditional mobile clinics, the day attempted to stress prevention and proactivity. For example, participants discussed the importance of clean water while receiving Santé’s water purification tablets; they learned about different methods of family planning and protection against sexual transmited diseases, while having the opportunity to take home condoms, participate in STD testing, and see a doctor on site to opt in to a more permanent family planning method. Instead of being treated for malnitrition, healthcare workers proactively gave training on the importance of a balanced diet and ditributed albendazol, de-worming medication, for all family members.
Additional subjects attempted to empower parents to understand risks and danger for children in their houses, better understand the impact of gender based violence on individuals and families, and to inspire parents to commit to the importance of everyday school attendance for their children.
“I think the health needs in our community are now clear,” said Mr. Alfred, director of Ecole Morne Thomonde, whose school was turned into a training center for the day. “It was a great opportunity to use education to connect to health needs in our community.”