Tag Archives: health profile

Global Health Fitness work in Dominican Republic

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Had a memorable global health mission in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, in partnership with the YMCA of the Dominican Republic. Dominican Republic has a population of over 10 million people. It sits on the island of La Hispaniola which is one side Dominican Republic and the other side is Haiti. Santo Domingo is a modern and cosmopolitan city. It is an attractive and versatile city with modern shopping malls and entertainment. The people are also very warm and hospitable.

The YMCA of the Dominican Republic / ACJ-Republica Dominicana just celebrated its 50th anniversary this year. It was formed in 1967. Their focus is more on early child development and youth educational programs. They have a fitness center at their headquarters in Santo Domingo, where they also offer swimming. They operate a number of branches in Santo Domingo and have programs in other parts of the country.

Our work in Dominican Republic:

The goal of the Global Health Fitness Initiative (GHFI) is to inspire the world to health, fitness and wellness, with a focus on preventative medicine. Our efforts in Dominican Republic focused on physical activities such as Zumba and dance fitness classes, with biometric health screenings. During this trip, we were only able to perform a few biometric screenings due to limited supplies and human resources. We were able to take blood pressure readings, body composition measurements which include height, weight and body fat. We also gave health advice based on the person’s screening results.

From our observation, Dominicans love to look good so they do take their fitness seriously. People are mostly within their healthy weight. However, during our health screening sessions, we had a lot of cases of people with high blood pressure, mostly due to blood pressure. High blood pressure is a silent killer and most people have no clue if they are a walking time bomb until they get regular health screenings.

Dominican Republic Health Profile:

The Dominican Republican government only spends about 5.9% of GDP on health, in comparison to 7.6% for the region and 16.2% for the United States. The world average is 9.9%. However, Dominican Republic has one of the most advanced healthcare systems in the Caribbean. While at the airport on the way to Dominican Republic, our team member met two people who were traveling to Dominican Republic for “Medical Tourism” as they called. One of them was going to a rehab house for six months to get help with their addiction. The other person was going for a weight loss surgery. Their reason for choosing Dominican Republic versus the USA for these services was because it was much cheaper and the quality of the service was comparable to the USA.

The Dominican Republic’s health care system is three-tiered. At the bottom, the poorest in society are guaranteed access to free, socialized care. People who work in the Dominican Republic and earn less than RD$4,000 a month make social security contributions through their paychecks. As a result, they are automatically entitled to government health care services. Also, many employers provide something called an “Iguala” which is a monthly subscription to use the services of a specific clinic at no cost. Most people still end up paying out-of-pocket  for medical supplies and other services because the government doesn’t spend enough on health care so the people have to pay a big chunk of their healthcare out of pocket. In public, government operated hospitals, patients often need to provide their own supplies. Friends and family tend to look after them when it comes to meals and other needs.

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According to the Center of Disease Control, the top causes of Death in DR non-communicable diseases and lifestyle related:

  1. Ischemic Heart Disease
  2. Stroke
  3. Road Injury
  4. Diabetes
  5. Lower Respiratory Infections
  6. Prostate Cancer
  7. Hypertensive Heart Disease
  8. HIV/AIDS
  9. Preterm Birth Complications
  10. Cirrhosis

The Life expectancy at birth is W 77/M 71 yrs. The Infant mortality rate is 31/1000 live births.

Here are more pictures from The Dominican Republic

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Global Health Mission in Namibia

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We recently had our global health fitness mission in Windhoek, Namibian, in partnership with One Economy Foundation. One Economy Foundation is an organization founded by the First Lady of Namibia, Monica Geingos, which aims to build a bridge of economic opportunity between the dual economy. We lead group fitness class and performed biometric health screenings, as can be seen in the video below.

Namibia is a large and sparsely populated country in the southern part of Africa, with only 2.5 million people. On its west coast, there’s the Namib Desert along its Atlantic Ocean. Windhoek is the capital city.

Namibia’s Health Profile

In Namibia, the government funds most of the healthcare. The country has a dual system of public (serving 85% of the population) and private (15%) health care providers. Namibia has made progress in the last decades when it comes to general health and communicable diseases, but despite this progress, HIV/AIDS still is one of the big reasons for health loss in the country. In recent year, about 9% of the country’s GDP accounted for government and private health expenditure. The world average is 9.9%.

Namibia has the three major health financing sources:

  1. The general government revenue at 54% of total health expenditure (THE)
  2. Employers’ contributions to private medical aid schemes (at 11% of THE)
  3. Household contributions through pre-payments and out of pocket payments (at 16% of THE)

According to the most current available date from CDC, the Top 10 Causes of Death in Namibia are:

  1. HIV/AIDS
  2. Lower Respiratory Infections
  3. Ischemic Heart Disease
  4. TB
  5. Cerebral Vascular Disease
  6. Diarrheal Diseases
  7. Road Injuries
  8. Diabetes
  9. COPD
  10. Neonatal Preterm

It also worth noting that life expectancy at birth is: W 67/M 62 yrs. Infant mortality rate is: 39/1000 live births.

Click here are more pictures from Namibia