Our Work

Health Needs of Women in the Haitian Population



Project Objectives

Started in 1993 and partnered formally with Duke since 2008, Family Health Ministries is focused on meeting the needs and improving the health of Haiti through their unique strategy of turning local community priorities into improved national health care programs through data collection and best practice development. They want to take what is learned to help improve health care for the entire country, generalizing the knowledge for reuse in other low-resource countries. Additional information can be found here: http://familyhm.org/

Project Opportunities

Project Titles:
1) Mental Health Needs and Issues of Daily Stressors in Haitian Women
There is limited data on the prevalence of mental health problems in Haiti. Life is tenuous where poverty and lack of resources is a daily struggle. Women in Haiti have to deal with such issues as poor health, no healthcare infrastructure, lack of food to feed their children, lack of education, limited clean water, and poor housing. Such issues can cause significant stress requiring women to develop coping strategies. The SRT students will collect data using surveys, personal interviews and focus groups to identify stressors and coping mechanisms. Interventions will be developed based on data collected.
2) Contraception, breastfeeding and birth spacing for Haitian Women
Haiti's population is expected to reach 15.7 million by 2050, targeting the need for a reproductive health program to decrease the total fertility rate, currently 3.9 children per woman. According to the United Nations Population Fund, the Haitian fertility rate has tripled since the 2010 disaster (WHWG, 2013). Contraception, birth spacing and breastfeeding are all linked to maternal child health. The World Health Organization recommends 2-3 years between pregnancies to reduce child and infant mortality and increase the health of the mother. The SRT project team will explore the issues associated with contraception, birth spacing, and breast-feeding and how these factors influence the health and well-being of the mother and child.

Project Activities:
1) Mental Health Needs and Issues of Daily Stressors in Haitian Women
a. Development of survey tool
b. Collection of survey data through personal interviews
c. Participation in focus groups
d. Development of potential interventions

2) Contraception, birth spacing and breastfeeding in Haitian Women
a. Collection of survey data on contraception and birth spacing and understanding of breastfeeding practices.
b. Development of educational materials on contraception, birth spacing and breastfeeding.
c. Participation in providing patient education sessions on contraception and/or breastfeeding.

Project Application Process

1. Choose a project location that interests you
2. Complete the 2016-2017 application
3. Send a CV and a copy of your most recent transcript to gh-education@duke.edu
4. Deadline: October 24, 2016

Project Selection Criteria


Creole or French language skills a plus, but not required.

Area of Interest

Team meeting information:
The team will meet bi-monthly during the spring semester to prepare for the summer experience. Dates and times to be determined in January 2017.

Project Application Deadline


Project Placements Available


Project Status



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