Public Health

Collection water for a testWater

Helping villages develop access to sufficient water for drinking and personal hygiene is a major concern that has been addressed principally by our partner the Northeastern University chapter of Engineers Without Borders. From a public health perspective without clean water nothing seems possible, with clean water everything seems possible. For more about ACTS and Engineers Without Borders water projects, click here.

 

New latrine in CarrizalitoLatrines

Initially there were no latrines in some villages and little recognition that human waste disposal was an important health issue, Proper tools for digging a pit were scarce and the cost of construction materials prohibitive.  The prevalence of intestinal parasites was high and in the absence of latrines, sustainable preventive measures were not possible.   Following the establishment of village Health and Development Committees, education, a latrine tool lending program and judicious medical treatment, there has been a substantial drop in the occurrence of intestinal parasites.

 

Volunteer Lisa Harmon teaching kids about dental hygieneDental Hygiene

Dental hygiene has been poor and got worse when the introduction of electricity and refrigeration resulted in a significantly  higher consumption of soft drinks. In 2016 working with the local partners, ACTS was able to open the new Smile Clinic, with plans to provide dental care in the region.  For more about ACTS’ medical and dental program,  click here.

 

Nutrition

Inadequate caloric intake and malnutrition is a significant problem for children living in villages where charcoal production rather than farming is the principal occupation. Community Health and Development Committees, with ACTS support, have implemented school food supplement programs and community food relief programs in times of crisis. Home garden plots initiated with the assistance of a partner organization, Sustainable Harvest International and a micro bank established by ACTS and the farmers of El Rosario, have enhanced the the diet. In addition,  a community kitchen has been built at the Education Center where classes in nutrition are held.

 

Improved stoveStoves

Open pit fires created a smoke filled living environment and sometimes resulted in horrific burns. These have largely been replaced in local villages by adobe stoves and ovens under the guidance of the El Rosario Health and Development Committee.  As the wood supply diminishes, stove efficiency and alternative fuels are becoming important considerations.


 

Fire Fighting Equipment 

With the assistance of fire departments in Vermont and New Hampshire, ACTS is helping to provide the under-equipped fire department in nearby Yoro with radio communication equipment, personal protective gear, and breathing apparatuses, and is working to acquire a “Jaws of Life.”

Photo Gallery: PUBLIC HEALTH