GlobeMed at Massachusetts Institute of Technology is partnered with Hope Through Health (HTH) to provide comprehensive health care services to communities in northern Togo.
GlobeMed at MIT + Hope Through Health
GlobeMed at Massachusetts Institute of Technology | Boston, Massachusetts
Hope Through Health | Kara, Togo
Togo receives eight times less aid for health than its neighbor Ghana.
“We are continually motivated by students’ energy and enthusiasm for our work and believe strongly that enlisting new supporters in the movement for global justice is the most effective way to sustain our efforts over the long term. We recognize that Togo is a small, relatively unknown part of the world. Thus we engage in efforts to expand the network of individuals with knowledge of and a connection to Togo in an effort to build solidarity with our partners there.”
– Jon Lascher, Outreach Coordinator of HTH
About the Partnership
Since 2004, Hope Through Health (HTH) has collaborated with Association Espoir pour Demain (AED-Lidaw), a community-based association of people living with HIV/AIDS, to provide comprehensive health care services at five clinics in northern Togo. Hope Through Health believes that communities can transform the dynamics of health care delivery. HTH trains and supports patients and community members to ﬁll key service delivery roles as community health workers, psychosocial counselors, program coordinators, custodial and clinic support staff, and rights advocates. Their involvement ensures that HTH’s programs respond directly to patient priorities. The GlobeMed chapter at MIT was drawn to HTH’s community-based approach to their grassroots health initiatives.
Mobile Health Communication (Started January 2014) – We are helping community health workers (CHWs) transition from paper records of home visits to CommCare, a mobile health platform. This will improve patient monitoring and evaluation, as well as allow for rapid communication with clinic-based staff.
Staff Professional Development (Started Summer 2014) – We are providing professional development and leadership training and resources to AED staff members at every level. This will facilitate AED’s operations by enhancing communication, improving management practices, and uniting staff members for a common purpose.
Scheduling Inquiry – We are investigating how patient clinic visits are scheduled, with the ultimate goal of increasing efficiency and improving patient adherence to treatment. This involves finding ways to schedule community health worker home visits in coordination with patient clinic visits. We hope to minimize money and time spent by patients on unnecessary or poorly timed clinic visits, as well as to facilitate better community health worker care and communication.
OEV Mentorship (Summer 2014) – AED’s Orphans and Vulnerable Children (OEV) program provides comprehensive care to children who are HIV positive, or who have lost parents/guardians to HIV. We are working closely with the OEV director to incorporate more educational and leadership activities into Club Hope, a once-a-month camp for children in the OEV program.
Documentarian Project (Summer 2014) – We are working with AED patients and staff to document their experiences living with HIV in Togo, both inside and outside the clinic. We will use written blog posts and video footage. The goal is to raise awareness about the day-to-day challenges of HIV care.
GPS Patient Mapping (Summer 2014) – Community Health Workers (CHWs) were trained how to use GPS devices to map where patients live in order to create a map of AED’s patient population. AED hopes to use these maps to demonstrate to donors, the Ministry of Health, and other organizations the reach of AED’s services and how far CHWs travel to visit patients. They also aim to use these maps to better determine where AED should concentrate outreach efforts and how to create more streamlined routes for CHWs who regularly visit patients’ homes.
Establishing a Database and Technical Infrastructure (Summer 2013) – This project set up a foundation for a customized Web App database and intranet system, with the goal of easing data entry while minimizing input errors via forms, generating various reports for the clinic automatically, and unifying disparate sets of patient records into one uniform database.
Computer Literacy Training Program (January 2013 & 2014) – Basic computer skills were taught to the staff members in each of AED’s clinics throughout northern Togo, in order to improve data management and record keeping. Clinic staff in Kara were also trained to use the new Web App Database, designed by GlobeMed students in January 2014.
GlobeMed at MIT raises over $10,000 each year for HTH and AED’s clinic pharmacies. These pharmacies provide subsidized medications to treat opportunistic infections to over 1,700 patients. Additionally, GlobeMed at MIT’s various projects developed with HTH and AED are helping to streamline clinic operations and increase donations through transitioning to electronic record-keeping and mobile health platforms, staff capacity building, and storytelling. GlobeMed at MIT also takes part in the larger global health movement by increasing global health education and awareness through events and activities at MIT and in the Boston area.