The Education Clinics, unlike the Medical Clinics, are intended to add an educational component to the FOTCOH programs outside of what the medical teams provide for patients. An important aspect of working towards keeping the Haitian population healthy is teaching practices and skills that they can apply to their daily lives.
FOTCOH has developed a WASH Program as the current focus of our Education Clinics. WASH (water, sanitation, and hygiene) geared towards promoting hand washing and hygiene behavior change among Haitian children and adults.
More than 840,000 people die each year from water, sanitation, and hygiene-related causes. On top of this, they have many waterborne disease problems. In 2011 alone, 6,000 people died in Haiti due to waterborne diseases.
One-tenth of the disease in the world could be prevented by improving the hygiene, sanitation, and management of water. One of the biggest problems is that children don’t properly wash their hands or don’t wash them at all. Many children also don’t know what water is safe to drink in Haiti and what water isn’t. Because of this, of the 3.5 million deaths worldwide that occur each year from waterborne diseases, like Cholera, 80% are children. Five thousand of the six thousand people who died of waterborne diseases in Haiti in 2011 was from an outbreak of the infectious disease Cholera.
What is the FOTCOH WASH Program?
At it’s most basic, the FOTCOH WASH Program will focus on the hygiene aspects of WASH in an effort to nurture good hygiene practices, especially hand washing with soap. Although it sounds simple, this act is essential to prevent disease and the health of children. Something as simple as hand washing can save lives. Washing hands with soap at critical times, like after going to the toilet or before eating, can have a significant impact on children’s health. Good hygiene practices reduce the incidence of diseases such as pneumonia, scabies, skin and eye infections and diarrhea-related diseases like cholera and dysentery. The key to improving hygiene practices amongst children is to promote behavioral change within schools and communities.
What you will learn/accomplish through WASH training:
Volunteers who participate in the FOTCOH Education Clinic will learn the WASH Program at the clinic, and then will take the knowledge they have learned and instruct local Haitian children on how to properly wash their hands, clean their hands after using the bathroom, safely prepare food, and how to brush their teeth. The WASH Program will also teach Haitian families safe water storage and filtering practices.
How to sign up to volunteer:
Visit https://fotcoh.org/volunteer and fill out an application today!