Country – Dominican Republic
“If this project did not exist, there would be more women with cancer, more pregnant teenagers, more people with HIV.”
Leona Adolfo has worked as a nurse in Profamilia’s mobile health unit for more than three years. She travels to isolated communities throughout the Dominican Republic to ensure the most vulnerable have access to health care. In Abacao Batey, a community of mostly Haitian immigrants, more than 400 people live in wooden shacks without latrines.
“There are women here who are 18 years old and already have three kids, says Leona. “They don’t go to school or have a job. There are many cases of teenage pregnancy and violence.”
Mobile health units like Leona’s are crucial to reaching overlooked populations and providing them with quality care. They travel long distances on makeshift roads because they know people are waiting for them who cannot access a health care facility. Distance aside, many Haitian immigrants in the Dominican Republic do not have the appropriate documentation needed to receive basic medical care or treatment even in the case of extreme emergency.
As the leading nonprofit organization providing sexual and reproductive health services in the country, Profamilia is trusted by local women for family planning services, reproductive health care, and counseling. Last year alone, the organization provided over 669,000 services – many of them for free to members of the community of Abacao.
“White, poor, rich, Dominican, Haitian, Haitian-Dominican, we are all human beings,” says Leona. “[At Profamilia,] everyone is treated in the same way.”
In order to provide funding for Profamilia’s mobile health unit, we teamed up with Catapult, a new crowdfunding platform for global projects that support girls and women, to provide 32 visits of the mobile health unit to communities like Abacao Batey in the Dominican Republic. Today, we received the good news that this project has been fully funded!
Thank you for ensuring rural Bolivians receive the health services they want, need, and deserve.
Originally published by International Planned Parenthood Federation/Western Hemisphere Region