Our Work

Research Healthcare Practices in Leogane, Haiti



Project Objectives

This year's SRT team will work on two projects. The published literature on hypertension (high blood pressure) in Haiti is limited. Most hypertension studies include Black populations from the United States or Africa and the vast majority of existing Haitian data comes from Haitian communities living in Miami. Furthermore it was reported that 61% of individuals with high blood pressure were unaware of their hypertension and the associated risk (Shipp 2001). The SRT project team, working with Family Health Ministries (FHM) research staff, will explore and document the issues related to hypertension in the community of Leogane.

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. Since 2010, Haiti has been experiencing a baby boom in urban areas like Port-au-Prince, due in part to the destruction of infrastructure that once included clinics with contraceptive supplies and counseling. According to the United Nations Population Fund, the Haitian fertility rate has tripled since the disaster (WHWG, 2013). Anecdotal data from past FHM research has suggested that certain misconceptions add to the lack of contraceptive use in the Haitian population. The SRT project team will explore the issue of misconceptions of contraception and document utilization rates in the Leogane area.

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

* Learn how to take ankle-brachial pressure measurements from a random subset of the population of Leogane, Haiti.
* Collection of survey data on general health, height, weight, current medications, past medical history, family history, and a review of symptoms.
* Collection of survey data on contraception use and understanding of contraceptive practices.
* Development of educational materials on hypertension and contraception.
* Participation in providing patient education sessions.

Project Application Process

Students must fill out and submit a project application, CV and recent transcript to Ms. Lysa MacKeen by November 3, 2014. Students may apply to no more than two project opportunities and a separate application must be completed for each project opportunity. Interviews for this opportunity will be take place during the during the week of November 10. Any questions regarding the application, interview dates or general project information should be directed to Lysa MacKeen at Lysa.mackeen@duke.edu.

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