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A Health Promotion Partnership in Dominican Bateyes

Country: Dominican Republic

City/Town: Barahona Province

Type of Site: Research/Service Learning

Organization/Institution: CMHE, Children of the Nations, Universidad Iberoamericana

Year of Study: All

Dates: Summer; Spring

Website: n/a


  • Conversational Spanish, minimum;
  • MD/MPH or MPH students will be given preferential consideration.


Application Procedures:
Schedule an appointment with the CMHE Assistant Director of Global Health.

Program Description:
While providing health care services to bateyes (unincorporated settlements where displaced Haitians labor for low wages) along the Haiti-Dominican Republic frontier, Project Hispaniola students and faculty decided that to truly make a positive health impact in these communities, a longer term, more sustainable approach would better address the underlying causes of locally prevalent diseases. The CMHE is now piloting a water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) program using a structured and participatory health education approach adapted from Sub-Saharan Africa in 5 bateyes along the Dominican-Haitian border. The Community Health Club approach will be used to catalyze sustainable WASH behavioral changes in 5 communities through a participatory education methodology that encourages community-wide consensus building and problem solving. In total, this project has trained 6 facilitators to lead the weekly participatory health promotion activities that will improve the water, sanitation and hygiene knowledge and practices of an estimated 6,000 people, thereby contributing to a reduction in preventable diseases such as diarrhea, respiratory illnesses and skin diseases. Finally, this approach will lay the foundation for future projects to be developed and implemented with these communities by empowering members to identify their own health and development priorities and to seek partners to assist in providing sustainable solutions.

Students will have the opportunity to contribute to this project through the collection and analysis of monitoring and evaluation data. In collaboration with students from the School of Medicine at the Universidad Iberoamericana (UNIBE), UTHSCSA students will assist in the conduct of household surveys designed to assess the programs overall impact. In addition, UTHSCSA students will be able to work with UNIBE students to carry out qualitative interviews and focus groups as part of a larger process evaluation. Finally, students will be given opportunities to develop additional research questions and studies to assess and report on the different sociological and public health aspects of this project as well as contribute to the development of public health programs to follow the year-long WASH education.

Additional Information:
Schedule an appointment with the CMHE Assistant Director of Global Health.

Evaluations: 2011
Evaluations: 2013