Spreading the message: Community health agents pushing cholera prevention in Central Plataeau
By Jennifer Browning
Community health agents and staff spread out among the community again today to continue raising awareness about the cholera outbreak that has devastated the Artibonite region, which is west of Thomonde and other communities Project Medihare serves. In addition to reinforcing their prevention message, the health agents also distributed water purification tablets.
In Thomonde, medical and office staff used a small generator to hook up a sound system to attract attention. At certain points in town, the truck stopped and as people gathered the team would begin talking about the cholera outbreak and how cases had been confirmed in nearby Mirebalais. They also talked about ways to prevent acquiring the disease.
Some people had questions such as why they couldn’t eat raw fruit and vegetables, or why was it no longer safe to eat fish from the nearby river. The Medishare staff patiently answered all questions and then began to explain how to use the water purification tablets before distributing them to all who gathered.
Due to the rapid progression of the illness along with concerns that many patients may be remaining at home when symptoms become present, Project Medishare is working actively within the communities in the Central Plateau. Project Medishare’s
community health agents are actively participating in our education and prevention campaign. They have not only spread out through our communities, but have also penetrated areas in nearby Hinche.
These health agents are using motorcycles to reach the most rural areas we serve and are equipped with megaphones to gather attention of the people. At these community meetings they are distributing items to help keep the community safe such as chlorine tablets, liquid bleach and oral rehydration kits.