Haiti Health Workers

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A neighborhood doctor’s office is something many of us take for granted. But that’s not the case in Haiti, where many find it hard to get medical care because the country is not only poor, but much of the land is rural and mountainous. There are signs of progress, though, as some are finding basic health care in their own neighborhoods. Reed Galin reports. 

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(Locator: Darbonne, Haiti)

In Haiti, the closest hospital can be hours away…and the journey treacherous. Marie Carmel Jalouis (mary carmel jah-lee) wants to save lives.

Marie Carmel Jalouis, Community Health Worker: “Sometime that touch my heart.”

Marie is a community health worker, offering advice to neighbors in rural areas. Some are desperate for help.

Marie Chrewle, Darbonne Resident: “I have nothing, nothing. Sometimes, I wash clothes for somebody and then they give me some little thing to help my child.”

The American group Global Health Action has trained 1,200 community health workers in Haiti, with support from the United Methodist Church.

Renette Olivier, Instructor: “Education is the most important in the activities that they do for the community.”

These teams can treat or prevent 80 percent of illnesses without further medical aid. But the job isn’t easy.

Henyry Miceleste, Community Health Worker: “Sometime when we meet some who give birth a lot of children, most of the children are dying because they don’t have enough to eat.”

To assure proper nutrition, the program also sponsors a project that gives goats to families.

Franck Toussaint, Goat Program Director: “In the past, we can sell a goat for 250 Haitian dollars. Now we can buy one for 1,000 Haitian dollars. That change a life.”

In this, the poorest country in the world, challenges can seem insurmountable...

Marie Carmel Jalouis: “Too many people need help. I can’t help all of them.”

…but the health workers believe they can help heal their country.

Miron Beaudouin, Community Health Worker: “Before the program, the community has a lot of problems. But after the program, a lot of things change in the community.”


Each community health worker in Haiti provides year-round care for about 100 local families. And it costs less than three dollars for each patient.

For more information about Global Health Action, call 404-634-5748.

Also, see: Community workers improve health in Haiti

Posted: March 25, 2009