Enhancing Education to Prevent Infections and Non-Communicable Diseases
Medline partners with a health facility in Belize to lower barriers to quality health education
By Medline Newsroom Staff | October 4, 2019
Education is a key social determinant of health, and can aid in the global fight against infections and non-communicable diseases like cancer and diabetes. Teaching kids how to wash their hands, for example, is a simple but highly effective way of preventing infection and significantly reduces risk of diarrheal diseases and respiratory infections in children. Education around proper nutrition has also been shown to help reduce risk of non-communicable diseases, which are the number one cause of ill health and death around the world.
To promote better health through education, Medline partnered with the non-profit Project C.U.R.E. and La Loma Luz Adventist Hospital, a semi-private hospital in Belize, to host a series of health fairs in San Ignacio, Belize and its surrounding communities. The fairs included health education workshops delivered by Medline employees from the across the U.S.
The workshops reached over 300 people within the community and centered on educating kids about basic health topics like hand hygiene, oral care, eye care, basic first aid and nutrition. The goal of the workshops was to reinforce positive health behaviors among families, and particularly children, which helps reduce risk for infection and disease.
“The education component as an intervention is extremely important because if you look at the non-communicable diseases, the prevention part of it lies with the individual,” said Dr. Ramon Figueroa, executive chair of the national health insurance scheme in Belize and former CEO of the country’s ministry of health.
An active lifestyle and good nutrition are among the practices the World Health Organization recommends individuals take to reduce their risk. Introducing these behaviors to kids in particular is key to reducing long term prevalence, Figueroa said.
“It’s much harder to convince somebody who has lived 20, 25, 30, 40 years to change a bad habit. So starting to talk about good health at very early ages is key,” he said.
Along with hosting workshops during the fair, Medline supported hospital staff in bringing a mobile clinic to the communities they visited where attendees could consult with a doctor.
“Medline is committed to eliminating barriers that get in the way of people living productive and health lives, and in many parts of the world access to education and transportation are among those barriers,” said Francesca Oliver, senior director of innovation and social responsibility at Medline. “We’re proud to work with partners like Project C.U.R.E. and La Loma Luz, to help lower these barriers and any others that get in the way of quality care.”
Learn more about how Medline is breaking down barriers to care.