In July, I had the privilege of being a member of the curriculum development and teaching team for the social medicine course, Les déterminants sociaux et économiques de la santé: Au-delà des bases bio-médicales de la maladie (The social and economic determinants of health: Beyond the biology of disease), sponsored by the Boston-based NGO, EqualHealth in Mirebalais, Haiti. The teaching team was multi-national, multi-lingual, and multi-disciplinary including the disciplines of nursing, medicine, social work, medical anthropology, public health, ethnomusicology, and human rights law and our students included medical, nursing, social work, and global health students.
I am attaching the YouTube video that served as the student's final project for the course.
Here is what the students would like you to know about their project:
We just completed a Social Medicine course in Haiti focused on social determinants of health. Our curriculum sought to analyze the structural factors that contribute to a person’s well being beyond the biological basis of disease. In this course, we learned about Haiti’s rich history, vibrant culture, and beautiful language. However, we also learned about some of the devastating consequences of unsustainable development work in Haiti. Our class was so moved by Haiti’s powerful and resilient history that we decided to create a video to share a message we think is really important. Our video warns volunteers that good intentions don’t necessarily result in good results. Many times, interventions meant with good intentions produce many negative non-intended consequences. Our video encourages volunteers to think about their organization’s practices.
In addition, because we are attempting to reach the maximum audience, please consider sharing this video with your connections on social media! Finally, take a moment to complete the following survey after watching the video: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/7WWHYKD
Please share this video, and for nurse educators, consider using it in your courses as a springboard for discussion regarding the critical role of nursing in creating a socially just world. I am also including links to EqualHealth and the Social Medicine Consortium which are both working on building a multi-disciplinary, multi-national movement in social medicine. I encourage my nursing colleagues to consider joining these organizations in the effort to get out of our disciplinary silos and begin to work together to solve the structural violence that is at the root of poor health globally.
Ruth Staus, DNP, APRN, ANP-BC
Associate Professor, College of Nursing and Health Sciences, Metropolitan State University, St. Paul, MN
Founder, Director, Adult Nurse Practitioner, Edgerton Wellness Center, St. Paul, MN
Co-Founder, Adult Nurse Practitioner, Love Grows Here Wellness Center, St. Paul, MN
Curriculum development and teaching team member, Social Medicine Course 2016, Equal Health, Mirebalais, Haiti