Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Education still needed

A talk with one of the nurses who helps to run the pharmacy on the Fauche campus stressed the need for good health education.

Her health issues include: high blood pressure, diabetes, arthritic pain, and itchy skin. She shared with us the burden of buying her own blood sugar monitor, the test strips, insulin, and broccoli.

She tried to follow her Haitian doctor's instructions-checking her blood sugars every day, wearing shoes, eating broccoli...but soon ran out of strips, and unable to refrigerate the expensive broccoli, it spoiled.

Reminds me of professors talking in medical school about asking patients about barriers to care..in this case..money.  Being able to afford to see the doctor and buy some of the items I think made her forget to check the Konsey books for advice.

Better to spread the test strips out to once every 2-3 days to avoid running out, or at least have a few left to check one's blood sugar when not feeling well than follow a well-meaning doctor's advice to check daily.

Better to use one's money to raise or purchase locally grown vegetables, fruits or tree leaves than to pay expensive prices for an imported vegetable you don't know how to use.

Even better-plant the chaya bush starts from Cory and grow your own green veggies.

Better to try some home remedies for itchy skin that persists despite medical treatment than suffer doing nothing.

Better to learn to use aloe gel and massage to ease the pain than to suffer with only occasional relief when pain medications can be purchased.

Better to learn how to reduce stress, make better nutritional choices, improve resistance to illnesses, and prevent sores/illness than to have to go for expensive tests and treatments.

So we chatted a while about practical ways she can help to manage her problems and she received chaya starts that same day.

A few days later I headed down and talked to the doctor who was very understanding. But I felt I needed to do more and so this week I've started walking down to clinic and chatting with the patients waiting to be seen.

Both days so far I've enjoyed connecting with people and talking about ways to improve and protect their health. The first day a few people arrived after I'd discussed helpful information for acid reflux, so I asked a young teen who already heard my talk to give some advice.

His detailed answer showed how well he listened.  The young doctor walked by yesterday on his way to see patients and enthusiastically noted how helpful my talking to patients could be for their health.

I'd gotten discouraged in the last few years trying to connect with a couple different groups of people but I think this could really work!

Health issues already motivated these people to spend money on health care and they really don't have anything better to do while waiting... a motivated, captive audience! They return home with new, practical information that can treat their problems and help them avoid other problems. Win, win.


Alison Hendricks said...

Hello again Thedes! Me again. We have been encouraging our schools on LaGonave to plant moringa to dry and add to the students' diri ak pwa. But, what is chaya? Should this be another crop to add? Would they be familiar with it? We really want to wean our students off of the imported vitamins so they can be sufficient. It is getting harder to bring in bags of meds and it is just not sustainable! Educate me on chaya! Are the Wesleyans familiar with it and are they using it there and at Okipe?

Kris Thede said...

Yes, chaya needs to be added to feeding programs along with moringa. Alison are you on Facebook? Then I could answer some of your questions in a message or get your email. Kristi Teravest-Thede.
Have you seen our Konsey books? There is a section on chaya in Konsey II: Remèd Natural & Agrikilti. Flè Papay pages 190-191 for folks who read Creole. The people often use chaya for shade plants but don't eat it. Needs to be cooked. Wesleyans used to have some down by the ice plant/gardens. Cory talked about it at Okipe but don't know if they are using it. Goats and other pests don't mess with it much so that's a huge plus too. Here's one link about 'tree spinach' https://hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/proceedings1996/V3-516.html . ECHO has information on it as well-that we translated to the book. Keep asking those important questions...like sufficiency. Courage!

SherryinMI said...

I think the advice you give is even great for us in the United States! So glad you are finding a new niche there!

Alison Hendricks said...

Our director in the US bought your books a while back and I told her about the Chaya plant today. We will do some more investigating, too. I am not on FB. Can you see my email from your end?

Kris Thede said...

Alison just ask your director to look on the front page of the book for our contact information or you can find it under our bio at the Global Partners missionary directory page. I cannot access any personal information on you.

Missus Wookie said...

What a good idea and I'm glad you thought to do this. I'm sure that the patients all appreciate the extra practical help.