Dissertations and Theses @ UNI


Open Access Thesis


Missions, Medical--Haiti; Intestines--Parasites--Haiti; Intestines--Diseases--Haiti; Intestines--Parasites; Missions, Medical; Haiti;


The purpose of this study was to demonstrate the need for health educators on short-term medical missions to developing countries. Specifically, the study was designed to analyze age-specific and gender-specific rates of intestinal parasitic infections in a rural Haitian, mountain clinic population. An extensive review of related literature indicated that 80% of the world's population lives in developing nations, primarily in poverty. Despite the tremendous efforts made by governments and international organizations, the basic health needs of developing nations are not being met (Djukanovic & Mach, 1975; King, 1966; Werner, Thuman, & Maxwell, 1996). Problems of contaminated water, improper sewage disposal, malnutrition, and poor housing are all environmental factors interacting in a significant way with the health of rural and urban poor populations in developing nations. These factors are dependent upon the economic conditions of lesser developed countries (LDCs), specifically the condition of poverty (Joseph, Koch-Weser, & Wallace, 1977). Human health is closely related to the environment in which people live. Enhanced sanitation and public health measures have improved health in some developing nations, yet disease still remains epidemic in many others (Conrad & Gallagher, 1993). What is most tragic is that many of the illnesses and deaths in developing nations are avoidable if living conditions could be improved, if the present knowledge of these populations could be increased, and if knowledge of disease prevention would not only be taught but applied to daily living (Omran, 1974). Data were collected from a rural clinic population in the mountains of Haiti, during a two week medical mission to the area. This was done to collect age-specific and gender-specific rates of intestinal parasitic infections for the population. The results, which were analyzed with descriptive statistics, indicated that approximately 11. % of the patients treated at the rural clinic had worms. It would appear from these findings that medical projects to developing nations would create sustainability to their efforts, if they were to incorporate health educators on their projects for the provision of public health education.

Year of Submission


Degree Name

Master of Arts


School of Health, Physical Education, and Leisure Services

First Advisor

Michele Yehieli

Second Advisor

Susan Koch

Third Advisor

Sue Joslyn


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Date Original


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