The Hesperian Foundation’s Prospects for the Future
Like Project Piaxtla, the villager-run health program in Mexico, the Hesperian Foundation has continued to evolve. The foundation which began over a decade ago as a support group for Project Piaxtla now maintains communication with community-based health programs in many parts of the world. At present, the foundation staff consists of a team of six persons with varied talents—either volunteered or under-paid, plus a number of part-time volunteers. David Werner and Bill Bower spend a part of their time visiting community health programs as facilitators and troubleshooters.
Our main efforts over the last few years have been in the development of health materials: books, papers, educational slide series, and learning aids aimed at the village level. We have just completed the idea book for village level instructors, Helping Health Workers Learn (discussed earlier). Also, we have been collaborating with Murray Dickson (a Canadian with experience in primary health care in Papua New Guinea) in preparing a village dental care book to be entitled Where There Is No Dentist. With luck, this will be in print before the end of 1982. We are getting started on a small book on oral rehydration (Return of Liquid Lost), a topic of great importance in view of the fact that dehydration from diarrhea is the number one cause of death in children in the world today. We also hope to put together a simple book on methods of Home Therapy and Rehabilitation for Families of Disabled Village Children.
On the enclosed announcement sheet about Helping Health Workers Learn, you will find a list of other Hesperian Foundation publications. We would appreciate comments and suggestions from anyone reviewing the books and materials we have already produced. At present we would especially like people’s reactions to our new book Helping Health Workers Learn. Also, if anyone has any ideas or suggestions for our future publications, we would appreciate hearing from you—especially those of you who are village health workers or instructors of workers or are actively involved in the community with helping people meet their needs.