Teaching Health in Catel, Guinea Bissau

Eric Hamm, Medical Team Member HBA trip to Guinea Bissau, March 2012

During my trip to Catel, Guinea Bissau, with Heartbeat For Africa, my favorite experience was teaching health lessons to a group of women from the community. Monday through Friday, these women would come from 8 – 10 PM to learn to read and write Portuguese at the Mennonite Church mission center.

The women, and their language teacher, were gracious enough to provide me with 30 minutes each night for three nights to teach our Community Health Education CHE health lessons. We covered the topics of high blood pressure, dehydration (more specifically diarrhea related dehydration), and child hood nutrition. In each session, the women were attentive and openly participated, and demonstrated they knew quite a bit about each subject, which we could help reinforce. The day after each session, women would come to the small village clinic where I was working and say they were practicing what we taught the night before, and were happy to be getting the information. It was a wonderful experience, one that I think the women enjoyed as much as we did.