Reaching Rural Haiti With Coronavirus Training

How can health professionals reach the rural population of Haiti with timely information about coronavirus prevention? One answer involves a combination of a cellphone, masks and social distancing. The Smallholder Farmers Alliance (SFA) and the Caris Foundation have completed the first Coronavirus Distance Training in which a doctor in Port-au-Prince gave a half-hour presentation via a cellphone connected to a speaker. For this first training session, six local community leaders were gathered in Gonaives, all wearing masks and spaced as per the new rules of social distancing. They had a printout of the presentation to follow along, and a lively Q&A came after the training portion of the call. The leaders left the training to go back to their respective local communities to begin sharing what they learned.
Participants in Gonaives listened as a doctor from Port-au-Prince gave a coronavirus 
training via a cellphone connected to a speaker (shown to the right of the man holding the phone). 
Photo credit: 2nd Story Goods.
“There are many misleading rumors circulating throughout Haiti about the coronavirus,” said Dr. Nat Segaren, Country Director for the Caris Foundation, “Speaking directly with local community leaders gives us the opportunity to counter rumors with the proper steps for prevention.”
“The SFA agronomists who were in the first training were very excited to get first-hand coronavirus information from a trusted source,” noted Timote Georges, Executive Director of the SFA, “and they were happy to be taking this back to the SFA farmers in the Gonaives area.”
The SFA and Caris are now preparing to roll out this distance training program to other areas, while the SFA works on having each training accompanied by a distribution of masks and soap.
Hugh Locke

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