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Ambulatory medical care in rural Haiti

, : Ambulatory medical care in rural Haiti. Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved 21(1): 70-80

In 2005, a team of U.S. physicians, nurse practitioners, nurses, pharmacists, emergency medical technicians and lay support personnel provided health services in an isolated town in rural Haiti. During one week, the team saw 788 patients. They recorded age, sex, vital signs, diagnoses, and treatments in an electronic database. A descriptive analysis is presented. Intestinal parasitosis was the third most common diagnosis overall, and the most common diagnosis for children. For adults aged 50 years or older, 52% of women and 37% of men had elevated blood pressures, significantly more than adults aged 15-49 years. This paper focuses on intestinal parasitosis and hypertension. Periodic anti-helminthic treatment and community sanitation are discussed as ways to reduce the burden of parasites and secondary malnutrition. Challenges to implementing a sustainable antihypertensive program are discussed, including patient education, medication availability and prioritization, and adequate follow-up in a very austere rural setting.


PMID: 20173256

DOI: 10.1353/hpu.0.0256

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