By Esperanza International | September 01, 2017

Health Education

Health education and treatment against harmful diseases are readily available resources to our affluent, American communities. Digital platforms, school and classes, doctor visits, and even word of mouth are all means through which our society receives a plethora of information to help us guard self from unwanted illnesses.

Health education and treatment against harmful diseases are readily available resources to our affluent, American communities. Digital platforms, school and classes, doctor visits, and even word of mouth are all means through which our society receives a plethora of information to help us guard self from unwanted illnesses. In fact, many measures are put into place already to create environments that limit the spreading of disease. Purified water and organized systems of waste disposal are just a couple of examples of the measures our communities execute to limit magnetizing harmful diseases to our homes, communities, and bodies. It is because of these measures that we have the opportunity to grow into the fullness of who we were created to be, and flourish in our spaces.

But what about the material poor? How do they come into contact with such information when doctor visits are costly? Where do they receive knowledge of preventative measures against disease when they live in a rural communities? As Esperanza is in bi-weekly contact with our borrowers and their environments, we recognize the material poor are at a disadvantage when they don’t have readily available resources to prevent against illnesses. In such cases, their susceptibility to disease is greater, and especially when living on less than $2 a day, their chances of recovery are slim and haunting. Esperanza notices the urgency of health education services and therefore makes it a priority to educate our Associates on the signs, symptoms, and preventative measures against diseases present in the Caribbean. We offer trainings to our Associates on how to detect harmful diseases as well as equip them with practices which minimize their susceptibility. As a complimentary service to our women Associates, we conduct annual breast examinations and cervical cancer screenings as a way to indicate potential cancerous signs and take immediate action if detected.

It is impossible for entrepreneurs to care for a business, family, and community if their bodies and minds are unwell. Healthcare and hygiene are necessary to keep an individual growing into the fullness of the person they are intended to be. We’ve provided below a list of some of the diseases that are common in the Dominican Republic. Their descriptions along with preventative measures are some of the many supplementary tools we equip our Associate with. Provided this information and knowledge, our borrowers are able to guard their lives, their homes, and businesses and create environments which give opportunity for growth, life, and fullness of joy.

Diseases & Preventative Measures:

Cholera is an intestinal infection compromised by a bacterium.

Preventative Measures:
Wash hands after going to the bathroom or the latrine
Wash hand before preparing food
Boil or purify water to drink and prepare ice, juice, and other beverages
Clean fruits and vegetables thoroughly with purified water

Dengue Fever
Dengue Fever is a debilitating viral disease of the tropics, typically transmitted by mosquitoes. Symptoms of the disease include sudden fever and acute pains in the joints.
Preventative Measures:
Grease the inside of tanks which contain water
Eliminate containers that store water such plastic cups, bottles, or empty cans

Breast Cancer:
Breast cancer is a common cancer seen in women and some men resulting from tumor or cancerous cells in the breast. The disease can be indicated by either a lump in the breast or discomfort.
Preventative Measures:
A breast self-examination to alert to cysts or other cancerous breast problems. Breast self-examinations are a procedure performed to examine yourself physically and visually and detect any changes in your breasts or underarms
A controlled mammogram at the age of 35. After age of 40, a mammogram should be done every year

Bladder Cancer:
Bladder cancer is the second most frequent within the kidneys and occurs in 2.3% of cancers in adults. Symptoms include clots (hematuria) or frequent UTIs. Even when there is no definite cause, gender, age, smoking, inheritance and immunosuppression are considered as predisposing factors.
Preventive Measures:
Do not smoke
Eat a healthy and balanced diet

Prostate Cancer:
Cancer in the prostate. It is the most frequent cancer in men older than 40 years. Symptoms of prostate cancer include high fever, headache, pains in the body (particularly in legs), shaking or chills, yellow color on the eyes, and discomfort to light.
Preventative Measures:
Avoid multiplication of rats by eliminating the accumulation of trash in the household and surroundings
Place the trash in plastic sheaths, tie them up and throw them in a tank
Wash the containers of food
Wear gloves and rubber boots when farming and walking on the ground
Vaccinate animals
Keep latrines covered
Wash your hands with care
Wash cooking utensils before use

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Microfinance is a banking service which exists to serve the material poor in emerging economies. Through this lending process, loans are distributed to entrepreneurs for investment in their business.

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