PUBH 8450 Community Health Assessment

PUBH 8450 Community Health Assessment

PUBH 8450: Community Health Assessment “Identifying Assets”
Program Transcript

NARRATOR: In this program, the community resources and system of networks used by the Mary Open Doors organization is highlighted as it strives to connect women and their children with various health education and government services. In addition, the Ministry of Health provides advice on maximizing results with limited resources.

ARLETTE SHEPPARD: Whatever the community has are assets. Whatever strengths the community has are assets. And so we try to use all that. And so we tried to have a detailed look at their community. We do community mappings, we do time tables of their scheduling, the daily activities, what resources exist in the community, how they have been used, how else we can use them.

ANNA SILVA: We have a situation where children, underprivileged children, needed school supplies to get back into school. The social worker from Belmopan called us to say, I know you work with women and children. We have somebody in the hospital who cannot afford, at this time, school supplies. Can you help us?

We went ahead and we put the request up on our Facebook, and in less than 15 minutes, we had school bags and school supplies for the furniture. So the communities are out there and they are willing to help us.

PUBH 8450 Community Health Assessment

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Right now we’re working with an organization called A Women’s Circle out of Belize City. And having looked at what Mary Open Doors represents and what we offer, their goal is to create something to the effect as Mary Open Doors in all the different districts.

We have looked at the daycare center and we have also looked at hosting a family event at the park. In our culture, in years past, we normally have a family day, which would be a Sunday. And we want to try and bring that back at the park right here in San Ignacio.

© 2012 Laureate Education, Inc. 1

We have a fundraiser coming up to commemorate the birth of Mary Open Doors, which will be held on May 8. We are starting with a raffle, and then we’ll have a mini-fair, which will end with a dinner dance or dinner with local entertainment. So all this fundraising is to help us to hire a secretary or receptionist for at least a year or two. So we have a budget, yes, and we can plan, yes, but we can only work with what we have today, and then try to see what we’ve come up tomorrow.

JORGE POLANCO: I’m smiling because this is a very common phrase, limited resources and lack of human resources. What I will tell you– I will use the example of zero maternal deaths. Toledo, which is the most southern district, has about 10% of the population, about 31,000 persons and has no obstetrician. And I don’t care seeing this internationally, no obstetrician.

PUBH 8450 Community Health Assessment

But what does that mean? That the basic prenatal care were provided by rural nurses who were trained, public health nurses who were trained, and general practitioners who were trained. We have no obstetrician.

So that in itself– anybody would say, wow, we need an obstetrician. Of course we need him. But the reason why we don’t have is because they’re non-existent in a country. So, then, we do what needs to be done with the resources that we have. And I think this is an important issue.

Let me take another issue of much public importance now– HIV and AIDS. We don’t have infectologists in the country. In the neighboring countries, AIDS are being treated and tuberculosis are being created by infectologists, specialists in infectious diseases. We don’t have that.

All that we have– we go as far as having internists, internal medicine. We do have ENT, we have one urologist in the public system, one neurosurgeon in the public system– actually, in the whole country.

© 2012 Laureate Education, Inc. 2

We have extremely limited, extremely limited specialists, but we have them strategically placed. At least in our regional hospitals, we have them. And we don’t have more than two.

Twenty years ago, I was a district medical officer here in Belmopan, and I was the only physician. There was no other general practitioner. There was no specialist. I used to do everything.

Of course, I come from the old school, where we were trained to do many things on our own. Closed reductions, DNCs.

Anyway, but what I’m saying is that we have grown and we have lived and developed in that environment, whereby we are sensitive to use what we have. Toledo has no pediatrician, OK? So I think this is a beautiful answer for your question, whereby, how do you manage with limited resources. So we use what we have.

We train our general practitioners. We trained the nurse that was in delivery. We trained the practical nurse, the rural nurse, the public health nurse. We sensitized them to the protocols we have. We do a lot of sensitization of our protocols, because we have high turnover of staff, especially doctors.

So we trained them. And we were there on their backs, on their backs, and after one year, the perinatal mortality decreased by 70%. So what I’m saying is because we have limited resources in all aspects– financial, technological, and even human– we are adjusted to give the best with what we have.

PUBH 8450 Community Health Assessment

© 2012 Laureate Education, Inc. 3

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