This week at C2C, we celebrated World Immunization Week. Our community health workers work hard to immunize infants in the communities they live in and serve to keep children healthy and thriving.
Just recently, I had the pleasure of attending the annual Unite for Sight Global Health and Innovation conference at Yale University in New Haven, NY. Every year, the conference brings together the world’s most interesting global health professionals, innovators, and students to discuss new and innovative policies, practices technologies, and models of care. The conference highlighted topics ranging from leadership in NGOs to maternal and child health practices and many in between.
One of the talks I attended was presented by the energetic Agnes Binagwaho, former Minister of Health of Rwanda and current Vice Chancellor of the University of Global Health Equity in Rwanda. She talked about the moral obligation of optimism to continue the fight to reach to the sustainable development goals in 2030. She presented the Rwanda Universal Health Care model that has led to many success stories, for a country that was not long ago completely decimated by a genocide and political crisis. In particular, she spoke to the importance of having healthcare reach all families and households with the help of trained and paid community health workers. Rwanda has a network of over 50 000 Community Health Workers (CHWs) that have the ability to provide primary care and referrals.
C2C has dedicated team of community health staff at each clinic to help us in our efforts to provide quality health services to the community. By reaching families in the community and at home, they act as an extension of our clinical services to remind patients of their follow-up appointments, immunization schedules, or family-planning services. They also conduct home visits for families with children suffering from anemia and acute respiratory infections, and help them to learn more about these conditions and the importance of the treatment. They also do many outreach activities for hypertension respiratory infections and malnutrition, hoping to reach people that would not have otherwise visited the clinics and provide them with care that has the potential to prevent major complications. CHWs are an integral part of C2C’s ability to offer high quality services in and outside of the clinic. They are especially key to optimal infant immunization coverage.
This was my second time attending the Global Health and Innovation conference. The opportunity to meet with other global health and international development professionals with a passion for providing opportunities and improving the health of disadvantaged people worldwide brings me inspiration and affirms that C2C’s commitment to bring low-cost quality health care to Haiti is on the right track.