Community-based health solutions to everyday health risks. Our Public Health program combines continuous implementation of preventative education workshops, health projects and clinic work in a region of 50,000+ community members. The public health discipline is of special significance to combat health problems in rural regions, as it addresses social problems involving health and well-being specific to location and culture, and combines education, behavior change and demands community-wide participation for success.
Burning firewood in open stoves for cooking is the cultural norm in rural Dominican Republic and Nicaragua. To address respiratory issues, and indirectly deforestation to collect firewood, BTC builds a model stove that has a chimney to provide an exit for smoke, and a unique design that improves heat insulation, allowing families to cook with less wood.
Deforestation and drought are the two largest environmental problems facing the Dominican Republic and Nicaragua. We work with communities to promote reforestation, agro-forestry and diversification of crops.
Latrines and Bio-digestors
Latrines are an essential aspect of health and sanitation for rural families. In most of the communities that we work with, several families will share a latrine in poor condition, or may not have access to a latrine at all. This can lead to contamination of water sources and the spread of disease.
We build latrines where pits can be dug deep enough to not effect water sources, or biodigestors in areas where pit latrines are unsafe. Biodigestors break down organic waste to produce a renewable energy called biogas that can be used to fuel stoves, and the run-off water from the process can be used for irrigation and fertilization of community farms.
We work with families to improve their nutrition by creating vegetable gardens in their patios. Most farming is sustenance farming, consisting of the basic grains of rice, beans and corn. Vegetable gardens contribute more much-needed vitamins and diversity to the average diet, while also saving families money by producing their own food.
Health workshops are an integral part of our approach to improving sanitation, hygiene, medical care and education to prevent health problems before they even begin. Volunteer groups support the cause by providing workshops for community members, health leaders and students on themes that represent real community need and that promote behavior change and environmental care as key actors for success.
Learn more about our public health trips here.
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