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Programs : Brochure

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  • Locations: Akirambe, Rwanda; Gisenye, Rwanda
  • Program Terms: Spring Travel, Summer Travel
  • Restrictions: TJU applicants only
  • This program is currently not accepting applications.
Program Description:

 

 

Our Mission


Jeff HEALTH is a student run organization at Thomas Jefferson College that aims to help Africa link to improved health resources one village at a time. We strive to build a university-wide community of health professional students and faculty interested in working to improve health conditions in African communities. Jeff HEALTH also aims to raise awareness of health issues in Africa among the greater Thomas Jefferson University community and Philadelphia area.


History

In 1994, during a period of only 100 days from April 6 through mid-July, approximately one million Tutsi and moderate Hutu sympathizers were killed in Rwanda. Carried out mostly by two extremist Hutu militia groups, the Interahamwe and the Impuzamugambi, this genocide is the largest organized killing of human beings in the shortest period of time in modern history. Its brutality and destruction left its marks all over this small and verdant country. Even 13 years later, everyone who survived carries the terror and trauma of genocide in his/her daily life.

In 2004 at an international conference in Barcelona, Lily Yeh, Founding director of Barefoot Artists, Inc. , met Jean Bosco Musana Rukirande, Regional Coordinator of Red Cross in Gisenyi. Rukirande talked about the situation in Rwanda, 10 years after the 1994 Genocide; Yeh was deeply moved. She decided to visit Rukirande after her project in Korogocho, Kenya at the end of July. Rukirande showed her two sites, a crusty structure containing a mass grave of genocide victims in Rugerero Sector of Rubavu District and a nearby survivors' village. He told Yeh that both sites needed help urgently.

This need shaped the Rwanda Healing Project, which contains two simultaneous and complimentary programs: 1) the construction of the Genocide Memorial Park and, 2) the transformation of the Rugerero Survivors Village. The Genocide Memorial program looks at the past, violence, destruction and death; the Survivors Village program deals with now and the future, development, new possibilities and hope. "We can move forward to our future only when we can fully understand and embrace our past."

Upon their return, they invited Dr. James Plumb, Director of the Office to Advance Population Health at Thomas Jefferson University to visit the village during the summer and perform a community health assessment. Students who wanted to a help with the project formed the organization JeffHEALTH (Helping Africa Link to Health). The aims of the group sought to participate in the Rwanda Healing Project and also provide information and resources to the general Jefferson community about how they can assist in addressing health issues in Africa.

In June 2006, a team of three medical students and one nursing student accompanied Dr. Plumb to Rwanda, where they began documenting the health conditions of the village through key informant interviews and focus groups as well as completing a health and hygiene "train the trainer" program with members of the village. They also created a relationship with the Rwanda Village Concept Project (RVCP) in Butare which would lead to the creation of the exchange. 

The follow-up trip to in June 2007 was a group of seven first year medical students. They filled out a project application for Engineers without Borders to improve sanitation and improved water security, and organized a nutrition assessment by performing key informant interviews and comparing the heights and weights of children in the village to measure the level of malnutrition in the village. This was also the first year of the exchange, as 3 students from the RVCP did rotations at Jefferson Hospital. A detailed survey was given to 5 households.

In 2008, eleven students, including 2 nursing students expanded the projects list. The education project continued the "train the trainer" approach, adding a certification exam, certificates, and a radio announcement of the names and locations of the new trainers. The education included Pre-natal care, Family Planning, HIV/AIDS, and Nutrition. The supplemental nutrition project expanded to include a WHO formula and supplies to feed the identified children. There was a health visit for the elderly people in the village, and an expansion of the collaboration with EWB as they began construction of new latrines for the village. A survey of the village was performed, reaching 70% of households. The first income generating project, egg-harvesting, was begun with the construction of 2 chicken coops. The exchange continued with 3 new students.

In 2009 two trips went. The first consisted of 2 4th year medical students who explored the hospital system and established a relationship with the new village of Akarambi. The second group of nursing, pharmacy, medicine and public health students went over the summer. In Rugerero they worked with the education projects, performing assessments on the trainers. They expanded with a new topic, intestinal worms and wound care. The chicken coop project was dropped in favor of a rabbit rearing project, as all the chickens had died. In Akarambi, they initiated education and malnutrition projects and began investigating water interventions. The exchange continued with 3 new students.

In 2010 there was a single trip in the summer with a mix of students. They expanded the intestinal worm education project significantly, as well as re-structuring the malnutrition project in Akarambi. The rabbit project in Rugerero was dropped as all the rabbits had died, and a mushroom farming project was begun. In Akarambi, a connection was made with Thirst Relief International (TRI) and 10 biosand water filters were built. The exchange continued as well.


Core Values
  • Use the Village Concept Project model when working with African communities.
  • Focus on our personal and professional development as medical professionals through our efforts and experiences.
  • Collaborate with villagers to focus on community development efforts.
  • Stress the importance of culturally-appropriate project design based on extensive needs based assessments.
     


Our Vision 

 

We envision a future in which Jefferson students have a well structured organization to create and work on sustainable health related projects in collaboration with African communities and NGOs, and witness these projects promote healing.
 


Our Goals

 

Current goals include:

 
  • Community-oriented primary care health assessment utilizing a medical anthropological approach to gain an understanding of this community's needs.
  • Development of sustainable water sources to improve hygiene and provide clean drinking water.
  • Improve nutritional habits via assessment and education.
We intend to raise awareness throughout our university and civic community through the following:
 
  • Production and display of artwork that reflects the social and economic conditions of these African communities.
  • Provide educational opportunities through panel discussions, Powerpoint lectures and other intellectual forums to increase awareness of health related issues in Africa.
For more information and to join JeffHEALTH go to: Pulse, Organizations tab (4th from the left) and search for Jeff Health.


Jefferson Student Reports & Journals - JeffHEALTH
 

 Rwanda Journal - JeffHEALTH - 2017  Rwanda Journal - JeffHEALTH - 2017
 Rwanda Journal - JeffHEALTH - 2017  Rwanda Journal - JeffHEALTH - 2017
 Rwanda Journal - JeffHEALTH - 2017  Rwanda Journal - JeffHEALTH - 2017


 

RwandaJournal - JeffHEALTH - 2015 RwandaJournal - JeffHEALTH - 2016
RwandaJournal - JeffHEALTH - 2015 RwandaJournal - JeffHEALTH - 2016
RwandaJournal - JeffHEALTH - 2015 RwandaJournal - JeffHEALTH - 2016
RwandaJournal - JeffHEALTH - 2015 RwandaJournal - JeffHEALTH - 2016 
RwandaJournal - JeffHEALTH - 2016 RwandaJournal - JeffHEALTH - 2016
RwandaJournal - JeffHEALTH - 2016 RwandaJournal - JeffHEALTH - 2016
RwandaJournal - JeffHEALTH - 2016  


 

RwandaJournal - JeffHEALTH - 2014 RwandaJournal - JeffHEALTH - 2013
RwandaJournal - JeffHEALTH - 2014 RwandaJournal - JeffHEALTH - 2013
RwandaJournal - JeffHEALTH - 2014 RwandaJournal - JeffHEALTH - 2013
RwandaJournal - JeffHEALTH - 2014 RwandaJournal - JeffHEALTH - 2013
RwandaJournal - JeffHEALTH - 2014 RwandaJournal - JeffHEALTH - 2013

Please Note: Some journals have more than one page. To browse through the pages, please use the drop-down menu on the right-hand side of the journal screen.
 

RwandaReport - JeffHEALTH - 2012 Survival Guide - JeffHEALTH - 2011
RwandaReport - JeffHEALTH - 2012 RwandaReport - JeffHEALTH - 2011
RwandaReport - JeffHEALTH - 2012 RwandaReport - JeffHEALTH - 2011
RwandaReport - JeffHEALTH - 2012 RwandaReport - JeffHEALTH - 2011
RwandaReport - JeffHEALTH - 2012 RwandaReport - JeffHEALTH - 2011
RwandaReport - JeffHEALTH - 2012 RwandaReport - JeffHEALTH - 2011
RwandaReport - JeffHEALTH - 2012 RwandaReport - JeffHEALTH - 2011
RwandaReport - JeffHEALTH - 2012 RwandaReport - JeffHEALTH - 2010
RwandaReport - JeffHEALTH - 2012  



This program is currently not accepting applications.