Needs assessment following hurricane Georges--Dominican Republic, 1998.
Hurricane Georges struck the Carribean Islands in September 1998, causing numerous deaths and extensive damage throughout the region. The Dominican Republic was hardest hit, with approximately 300 deaths; extensive infrastructure damage; and severe agricultural losses, including staple crops of rice, plantain, and cassava. Two months after the hurricane, the American Red Cross (ARC) was asked to provide food to an estimated 170,000 families affected by the storm throughout the country. To assist in directing relief efforts, CDC performed a needs assessment to estimate the food and water availability, sanitation, and medical needs of the hurricane-affected population. This report summarizes the results of that assessment, which indicate that, 2 months after the disaster, 40% of selected families had insufficient food > or =5 days per and 28% of families reported someone in need of medical attention. (+info)
Protecting paradise: tourism and AIDS in the Dominican Republic.
This study summarizes results from six data collection instruments administered to tourists, hotel workers, and commercial sex workers (CSWs) in the Dominican Republic (D.R.). The objective of this study was to assess: 1. how HIV/AIDS may affect tourism; 2. how tourists are likely to react to prevention campaigns; and 3. how tourism may affect the spread of HIV/AIDS. It was found that an overwhelming proportion of tourists did not consider the prevalence of HIV to be a factor when making their travel plans, and that most did not consider themselves at greater risk of becoming infected while on holiday than when they were at home. This study determined that the spread of HIV/AIDS was unlikely to affect the demand for tourism services in the D.R. The study also found that most tourists would respond positively to an HIV/AIDS prevention campaign and would not be discouraged from visiting the D.R. because of such campaigns. Those most receptive to prevention efforts were also those who felt they were at highest risk, according to study data. Finally, it was determined that while most tourists probably do not engage in high risk activities, there were some male and female tourists who do engage in sexual encounters with multiple Dominican CSWs and hotel employees. These encounters represent a risk to the health and economic development of the D.R., as well as to tourists and their other sexual partners. Based on these findings, it is recommended that in order to minimize the potential social and economic impact of HIV/AIDS in the D.R., prevention messages need to reach a number of groups which have not yet been adequately targeted. These groups include tourists, with a special emphasis on 'sex tourists', and hotel employees, with a special emphasis on entertainment staff. (+info)
Involving men in reproductive health: the Young Men's Clinic.
OBJECTIVES: This report describes the population of young men who use the Young Men's Clinic in New York City, presents a profile of their reproductive behaviors, and describes the clinic's model of service delivery. METHODS: Data were gathered through a routine clinic visit form administered by clinic staff. RESULTS: The clinic sees approximately 1200 predominately Dominican young men each year for a wide range of clinical and mental health services. Two thirds of clients had ever been sexually active, three quarters had ever used birth control, and 69% had used birth control at their last sexual encounter. CONCLUSIONS: The Young Men's Clinic may serve as a model for health care delivery to adolescent and young adult males. (+info)
Lipoprotein(a) concentrations in healthy subjects in the Dominican Republic. Comparison with Japanese.
Previous studies have shown that serum concentrations of lipoprotein(a) [Lp(a)] are markedly different among different ethnic groups. We examined the serum levels of total cholesterol, high density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol and Lp(a) in apparently healthy subjects aged 20-69 years in Japan (n = 865) and the Dominican Republic (n = 1,893). Dominicans had significantly lower levels of total cholesterol and HDL cholesterol than Japanese. The distribution of Lp(a) concentrations were markedly skewed towards low levels in both Japanese and Dominicans. However, the mean Lp(a) concentration in Dominicans was approximately 2 times higher than in Japanese (21.7 +/- 23.7 vs 12.3 +/- 15.9 mg/dl, p < 0.001). This is possibly because the majority of Dominicans are of mixed Negroid and European blood. (+info)
Field evaluation of the Determine rapid human immunodeficiency virus diagnostic test in Honduras and the Dominican Republic.
Rapid detection of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection can result in improved patient care and/or faster implementation of public health preventive measures. A new rapid test, Determine (Abbott, Abbott Park, Ill.), detects HIV type 1 (HIV-1) and HIV-2 antibodies within 15 min by using 50 microl of serum or plasma. No specialized equipment or ancillary supplies are required, and results are read visually. A positive result is noted by the appearance of a red line. An operational control (red line) indicates proper test performance. We evaluated the Determine rapid HIV detection test with a group of well-characterized serum samples (CD4 counts and viral loads were known) and serum samples from HIV-positive individuals at field sites in Honduras and the Dominican Republic. In the field evaluations, the results obtained by the Determine assay were compared to those obtained by local in-country HIV screening procedures. We evaluated serum from 100 HIV-positive patients and 66 HIV-negative patients. All samples gave the expected results. In a companion study, 42 HIV-positive samples from a Miami, Fla., serum bank were tested by the Determine assay. The samples had been characterized in terms of CD4 counts and viral loads. Fifteen patients had CD4 counts <200 cells/mm(3), while 27 patients had CD4 counts >200 cells/mm(3). Viral loads ranged from 630 to 873,746 log(10) copies/ml. All samples from the Miami serum bank were positive by the Determine test. Combined results from the multicenter studies indicated that the correct results were obtained by the Determine assay for 100% (142 of 142) of the HIV-positive serum samples and 100% (66 of 66) of the HIV-negative serum samples. The Determine test was simple to perform and the results were easy to interpret. The Determine test provides a valuable new method for the rapid identification of HIV-positive individuals, especially in developing countries with limited laboratory infrastructures. (+info)
Political analysis of health reform in the Dominican Republic.
This article examines the major political challenges associated with the adoption of health reform proposals, through the experience of one country, the Dominican Republic. The article briefly presents the problems of the health sector in the Dominican Republic, and the health reform efforts that were initiated in 1995. The PolicyMaker method of applied political analysis is described, and the results of its application in the Dominican Republic are presented, including analysis of the policy content of the health reform, and assessment of five key groups of players (public sector, private sector, unions, political parties, and other non-governmental organizations). The PolicyMaker exercise was conducted in collaboration with the national Office of Technical Coordination (OCT) for health reform, and produced a set of 11 political strategies to promote the health reform effort in the Dominican Republic. These strategies were partially implemented by the OCT, but were insufficient to overcome political obstacles to the reform by late 1997. The conclusion presents six factors that affect the pace and political feasibility of health reform proposals, with examples from the case of the Dominican Republic. (+info)
Follow-up screening of lead-poisoned children near an auto battery recycling plant, Haina, Dominican Republic.
In August 1997 we performed a follow-up survey of 146 lead-poisoned children from a community near a previously active auto battery recycling smelter in Haina near Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. Our follow-up survey confirmed a severe incidence of elevated blood lead (BPb) and erythrocyte protoporphyrin/zinc protoporphyrin (EP-ZnPP) levels. The mean BPb level was 32 micrograms/dL and the mean EP-ZnPP level was 128 micrograms/dL. The frequency distribution of BPb showed that only 9% of the children had BPb levels below the currently acceptable 10 micrograms/dL threshold level, 23% had between 10 and 19 micrograms/dL, 40% had between 20 and 39 micrograms/dL, 27% had between 40 and 99 micrograms/dL, and the remainder had > 100 micrograms/dL. These findings are significantly greater than the mean BPb and EP-ZnPP levels of 14 and 35 micrograms/dL, respectively, in a comparison group of 63 children in Barsequillo, 4 miles away. BPb frequency distributions for these groups were < 10 micrograms/dL (42%), 10-19 micrograms/dL (32%), and 20-39 micrograms/dL (16%); in the remaining 10%, BPb levels were between 40 and 99 micrograms/dL. Similarly, the corresponding frequency distribution of EP-ZnPP levels in Haina children were proportional to the severity of lead poisoning and significantly higher than those of the Barsequillo comparison group. This study reveals that at least 28% of Haina children require immediate treatment; of these, 5% with lead levels > 70 micrograms/dL are also at risk for severe neurologic sequelae, and urgent action is imperative. (+info)
Children on the move and vaccination coverage in a low-income, urban Latino population.
OBJECTIVES: The purpose of this study was to determine the impact of childhood moves and foreign birth on vaccination coverage among Latino children in New York City. METHODS: Vaccination coverage was assessed in a survey of 314 children younger than 5 years at 2 immunization clinics. RESULTS: Forty-seven percent of the study children had moved abroad. After adjustment for health insurance, regular source of care, and country of birth, child moves had no independent effect on vaccination coverage. Foreign-born children had diphtheria-pertussis-tetanus, oral polio vaccine, and measles-mumps-rubella vaccination coverage rates similar to those of US-born children, but they were underimmunized in regard to Haemophilus influenzae type b and hepatitis B. CONCLUSIONS: Foreign birth, but not childhood moves, is a barrier to vaccinations among low-income, urban Latino children. (+info)