Fields of expertise
Mental Health and Psychosocial Care
Violation of human rights, rape, violence and kidnapping can leave deep marks that influence daily life: suicide, alcohol addiction and behavioural disturbances are therefore not uncommon in disrupted areas. These kinds of problems are often neglected. Mental health is often not yet a priority for governments and the international community. The integration of mental health care into health systems therefore remains challenging. Health Works works on sustainable aid programmes that focus on coping with psychosocial and mental problems. Our local staff work on strengthening self-confidence, providing emotional support, increasing people's problem solving capacity and reducing psychological consequences.
Health Works supports regions where emergency aid is no longer needed. Furthermore, continuation of emergency relief is often harmful to the society and economy. Because health systems frequently collapse after the international aid organizations have left the country. In full cooperation with local authorities, Health Works therefore determines the course of the development of a new health system and supports local authorities in developing and promoting these new models.
Conflict, poverty and social, political or economic quakes in fragile countries also result in a dramatic deterioration of the health status. People become vulnerable to diseases such as malaria, HIV and tuberculosis. These infectious diseases are still the world’s biggest ‘killers’ in low income countries (WHO). Furthermore, non-communicable illnesses such as diabetes and heart disease also begin to take their toll in low-income countries. Health Works therefore works on comprehensive health systems in which disease control can be sustainable and directly embedded. Health system projects for example include mother and child care, vaccination campaigns and malaria control.
When local governments keep paying for health care services – mostly with external funds – health care will collapse when this foreign funding ends. Health Works therefore tries to create a social ‘safety net’ by gathering people in cooperations in which they all – sick or healthy – pay a small amount for health care services. This is a first step to a sustainable health insurance system that eventually gets independent of external funds and can support itself. By also paying a decent salary to health care providers, the quality of care and access to health care increases. Health Works contributes to better health by implementing these kind of interventions into existing health systems.
In fragile states the social fabric is often completely destroyed. Families are scattered, people mistrust each other and political and legal systems malfunction or disappear. This causes social tensions, damage to the (health) infrastructure and increased poverty. Because the communal destruction of cultural identity manifests in physical, psychological and social aspects, these situations can be considered as collective trauma. Health Works brings communities together again to acknowledge and tackle these problems. This approach (Community Resource Mapping en Mobilization, RMM©’) therefore addresses the so-called social determinants of health.
Sexual and reproductive health and rights
Violations of sexual and reproductive health and rights are widespread. The need for an effective family planning policy and a reduction of sexual and gender based violence are much needed. We aim to increase access to, demand for, and quality of existing family planning services.