Haiti's Health Promoters
Like a soldier en route to the battlefield, Josue Brunard stuffed his backpack with ammunition for his mission. But instead of guns and bullets, his armament consisted of condoms and other contraceptives. Brunard’s fight is to save lives, and lower the rate of sexually transmitted diseases in Haiti.
On a recent outing, Brunard and a few of his colleagues at Profamil hopped on the back of an early model white Toyota Land Rover as they set out to address a community group. After a 45-minute drive navigating rocky and dusty terrain, the staff disembarked and set up for their presentation at Ti Marche, a hamlet outside Croix des Bouquets.
They set a small table under a large shaded tree, and slowly, the women and a few men began assembling. In less than 10 minutes more than 60 people had gathered to listen to the presentation. Brunard began his demonstration by talking about the various birth control methods. He went through the options and methodically explained the pills, condoms, depo-provera shots, vasectomy, diaphragm and tubal ligation options.
For most of the women and men who had finished absorbing this information, it was the first time they had heard a thorough explanation of birth control and their effects. Questions were lobbed at the crew like missiles.