203194 GenNext: Healthy Women Through Sports

Monday, November 9, 2009

Kathryn C. Kaplan , Haitian Health Foundation, Jeremie, Haiti
Judy Lewis, MPhil , Department of Community Medicine, University of Connecticut, Farmington, CT
Bette Gebrian, MPH PhD , Haitian Health Foundation, Jeremie, Haiti
Introduction: Early pregnancy and HIV transmission in young women has been the focus of global attention. Several programs in different regions link sports and health education as a powerful way to reach young people

Of all women seeking services at the Haitian Health Foundation (HHF) maternal home in Jeremie, Haiti, 14% give birth before the age of 20. The 2005 DHS shows the same rate nationally. HHF has worked in 45 rural areas to educate women in responsible sexuality as part of an innovative all-female soccer league. 5000 teens have completed training and 2000 played soccer. Nurses provide five days of reproductive health sessions using tests to assess knowledge. Each young woman receives a home-based passport to health card.

Methods: Reported self-esteem changes were collected through individual and group interviews before and after participation in both the education course and the soccer program. Pregnancy rates in women 15-24 in the HHF service areas were analyzed through a computerized data tracking program. In each of the 45 areas, pregnancy rates were compared based on program participation.

Results: A preliminary analysis shows increased self-esteem after completion of both the education and soccer programs. In 2005, 340 women 13-20 completing the program. 2.9% became pregnant before the age of 20, lower than the national average. Additional outcomes will be presented.

Conclusion: The HHF GenNext: Healthy Women through Sports demonstrates the effectiveness of utilizing nurse educators, community mobilization, and youth participation to band together to promote and sustain health for a new generation of women.

Learning Objectives:
1. Identify 3 key elements necessary for a responsible sexuality and sports program 2. Define methods used for evaluating self esteem and health outcomes 3. Discuss potential ways to increase the effectiveness of the program

Keywords: Adolescents, International, Reproductive Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the program manager for the GenNext: Healthy Women Through Sports program in Jeremie, Haiti.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.