ProWorld

Health Projects
From Andean communities that hardly see a doctor to a farm that teaches Mexican school children about disabilities to public health campaigns in Belize, ProWorld’s health projects help communities throughout the year. Below are some of the projects volunteers can participate in.

Peru
Centro de Adulto Mayor de Calca
Promote the general well-being of adults 55 and older and individuals with disabilities. At the Adult Center of Calca, volunteers and staff provide much-needed assistance to members while promoting a focus on gerontology. Volunteers provide health assistance to members, addressing both their physical and mental health. Volunteers also help staff address the economic and social needs of the center’s members through a well-rounded program focused on improving members’ quality of life.

Clinical Assistance Health Project
Work with public and private health institutions to improve the health of community members in the Sacred Valley and Cusco.  Volunteers may opt to work with local hospitals and/or small local clinics.  Volunteers working with local hospitals will serve the poor residents of communities by providing preventive health care and education, and offering free and low cost health services.  Local doctors and nurses will assist volunteers in learning about the practice of medicine in resource-poor settings, as well as provide an invaluable perspective regarding the unique health care needs and concerns of the surrounding communities.

Public Health Education Project

Help community members of the Sacred Valley and Cusco improve their health and increase their knowledge of how to care for themselves.  ProPeru staff and volunteers will work with the Department of Cusco to provide community members with access to qualified health care, preventative health care education, and training.  Volunteers may also opt to work with the Casa Materna (birthing center) where they may educate expectant and new mothers regarding prenatal and infant health.  Ultimately, it is the intention of ProPeru to establish health care initiatives which will enable community members to gain the knowledge and skills needed to promote the health of themselves, their families, and their community.

Public Health Investigation Project
Assist with ongoing research projects that seek to further understand the specific health care needs of communities within the Sacred Valley and Cusco.  ProPeru staff and volunteers will work with health care professionals, local organizations, and community leaders in an effort to conduct scientifically sound and relevant research.  Research projects seek to determine the prevalence of specific diseases, to elucidate risk factors for such cases, and to pinpoint possible areas for appropriate and effective intervention.  Results from such research will be used to formulate and guide health education initiatives, as well as be prepared for publication in public health journals.

Belize
Octavia Waight
Help care for those who cannot care for themselves. At Octavia Waight Center, volunteers have the opportunity to participate in nursing, physiotherapy, geriatric care, and general health care. Volunteers will focus on establishing emotional relationships with patients who would otherwise have few or no visitors. Volunteers also have the opportunity to design and implement various programs to meet other needs of patients.

BFLA (Belize Family Life Association)
Help improve family planning and pre-natal services in San Igancio. Volunteers at the Belize Family Life Association family planning clinic will assist staff with the daily running of clinic, pre-natal and post-natal workshops, HIV educational outreach, and preparation of educational materials in Spanish and English. Spanish language skill is a plus. In addition to this, Nurse Dolly Witts works with the public health sector of the San Ignacio hospital. She participates in counseling and education along with the other nurses at the hospital.

Chagas Disease Research
Contribute to the general body of knowledge related to Chagas Disease. Using the Knowledge Awareness and Practices (KAP) questionnaire, volunteers will survey the local population to gauge the community’s knowledge, awareness, and practices related to Chagas Disease. Volunteers will contribute to the ongoing public health awareness campaign using various methods including but not limited to television, print, and radio.

Public Health Campaigns
Develop and Assist with ongoing research projects that seek to further understand the specific health care needs of communities within the Cayo District of Belize.  ProBelize staff and volunteers will work with health care professionals, local organizations, and community leaders in an effort to conduct scientifically sound and relevant research.  Research projects seek to determine the prevalence of specific diseases, to elucidate risk factors for such cases, and to pinpoint possible areas for appropriate and effective intervention.  Results from such research will be used to formulate and guide health education initiatives, as well as be prepared for publication in public health journals.

Mexico
Clinica del Pueblo
Contribute to the Clinica del Pueblo’s efforts to provide health care to the poorest community members of Oaxaca. The clinic provides basic health services and several outpatient surgeries. Volunteers will contribute to the clinic’s efforts in a variety of ways, including taking vitals, treating injuries, shadowing nurses and doctors, sitting in on surgeries and cleaning and preparing instruments. Volunteers may also perform other duties as needed such as document translation and categorization of donated medications.

Mexfam
Improve reproductive health and knowledge among Mexico’s poorest citizens. At Mexfam, volunteers will work in an environment similar to that of Planned Parenthood, an organization with which Mexfam works closely. Volunteers will help in the clinic, with health talks in various communities, and with the dissemination of family planning information to local doctors, nurses, and pharmacists.

Casa Hogar para Ancianos
This home for the elderly was built in 1991 on funds donated by the local artist Rufiño Tamayo and his wife Olga Flores. Since its inauguration the home has been under the support and direction of the National System for Integral Family development. The Casa Hogar’s objectives are to offer quality physical, mental and social services to the elderly that have been either abandoned or do not have the resources to support themselves. The home guarantees security to its inhabitants while working to secure for them the highest level of autonomy and auto sufficiency and the opportunity to a healthy environment where they can live with dignity.
"I really think that all prospective doctors should have an experience like this so they can appreciate all the good things about the American health care system and to have a cross cultural comparison." - Katie
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