Public Health and Research

A commitment to public health research, projects, and collaboration with the local health system is necessary in order to address the underlying causes of health and illness. Our goal in taking a public health approach is to reduce morbidity and mortality due to the dual burden of infectious and non-communicable diseases in our partner communities. Our efforts involve our community health workers, our partners in the local health system, and researchers who work together to:

Conduct formative and participatory research on public health issues, to inform the design, implementation, and evaluation of community-based health interventions.
Past research projects have included a survey of metabolic syndrome risk factors in our four partner communities; a study of factors affecting medication adherence among patients in our Chronic Care Program; a community mapping project using GIS technology; and an investigation of attitudes and practices surrounding potable water access.

Read the final reports from some of our past research projects here.

Prevent the onset of chronic illnesses, including heart disease, diabetes, and cancers, through early detection, community engagement, and self-care.
Through one-on-one support provided by our community health workers, and community-driven projects to address risk factors like poor nutrition, lack of physical activity, tobacco use, and alcohol use on a broader scale, we aim to prevent chronic illnesses in the community as a whole.

Support the local health system in addressing pressing infectious disease concerns, and integrating chronic disease prevention and treatment into the primary health care setting.
With dengue fever, cholera, intestinal parasites, and other high-burden infectious diseases affecting the communities we serve, we work to complement Ministry of Health efforts to prevent and treat these illnesses. We are also evaluating the effectiveness and impact of our Chronic Care Program and preventive approach to chronic illness, with the intent to develop an innovative model for combining public health and clinical care strategies for addressing this important long-term health priority.

To ensure that our programs have a long-term impact on public health, we prioritize monitoring and evaluation at all stages of our work.  We analyze our patient health outcomes data; systematically solicit feedback from patients, community health workers, and volunteers; incorporate technology to increase our capacity for data collection and analysis; and engage in constant re-evaluation and adaption of our work to account for new information and findings.