Three years after an earthquake killed more than 200,000 people and left an estimated 1.5 million people homeless in Haiti, a Henry Ford Hospital study found that more mobilized medical care is necessary to bridge cultural and health care barriers and better serve the Haitian population.
Highlights of the study:
•79 percent said their religious leader was their main source of health care information.
•76 percent said they felt insecure in their ability to care for loved ones who are sick.
•69 percent said Western medicine is less safe than traditional Haitian medicine.
•58 percent said they never heard of dengue, an infectious tropical disease transmitted by mosquitos. Symptoms include fever and headache.
•50 percent had or knew someone who contracted malaria.
•30 percent said fever was their chief health complaint.
Samia Arshad, MPH, a Henry Ford Infectious Diseases epidemiologist and the study's lead author, related the story of a woman whose traditional healer diagnosed her pregnant, only to learn later at a health clinic that she had a tumor in her stomach.