Our focus at DCI is on prevention of all preventable diseases through health education and sensitization using the different modes of information dissemination, including relationships with the community and mass media.
Living healthy is not only associated to the physical health but goes beyond to mental, internal and spiritual health. But prevention of sickness is much easier and more affordable than treating disease and injury. Especially where proper healthcare is often not available. Knowledge and behavior change are the keys to prevention, so the DCI Community Health Education Program focuses on teaching people of all ages to live healthier lives.
Our research has shown that a wide range of health issues plague our communities, including malnutrition, diarrheal diseases, HIV/AIDS, other sexually transmitted infections, Hepatitis B, and even hemorrhagic fevers such as Marburg, an outbreak of which in our area was quickly stopped in 2017. But now, even “modern”, western health problems such as high blood pressure and heart disease, diabetes, and cancer are quickly growing in our rural areas. Local health providers and traditional community knowledge are not prepared to deal with these “new” risks.
To address the issues of lack of knowledge and lack of access to healthcare, DCI currently runs a three-pronged approach to community health education, including rural schools, local communities and homes, and mass media including newsletters and radio talk shows. We believe that with limited resources, these will have the greatest impact and allow people to take charge of their own health.