When it comes to healthcare, knowledge is power. This is why community education is a high priority at HAS.
With World Blood Donor Day coming up on June 14, we would like to feature the work of our team at the HAS Blood Bank. Led by Angeline Joseph, our blood bank is one of just 14 in the entire country of Haiti, and is recognized as a reliable source of blood for patients who need transfusions in this region. Ensuring that the HAS Blood Bank remains stocked and ready for emergencies requires constant recruitment; otherwise, HAS would not be able to provide transfusions for all who need them.
We do this largely through education. Our blood bank staff members, including Angeline, regularly go to schools to speak with young people about the importance of donating blood. “It’s a community effort,” says Angeline. She and her colleagues stress the difference that a blood donation can make for their own friends and family by noting that HAS saves 72 lives per month through blood transfusion. HAS accepts blood donations from people ages 17 and older, and encourages young people to donate as early as possible.
This is a perfect example of the healthcare continuum that HAS creates for the Lower Artibonite Valley that it serves.
HAS community health workers and health center staff provide educational sessions on a wide range of public health topics, including nutrition, cholera, breastfeeding, tuberculosis, and many more. These sessions are usually held in HAS community health centers or at community gathering places like churches and schools (pictured above).
HAS reaches about 10,000 community members every month through educational activities, 85 percent of whom are women.
Through education, we stay true to our mission of collaborating with the people of the Artibonite Valley to improve their health and quality of life.