Thijs Hemeryck

Community health nurse

The Cause I Support

I am appalled that a large part of the world population does not have access to health care services. This limited access has three facets:

 1. Financial access: in many countries, people must pay for their health care. Often, health care is very expensive.

2. Physical access: home is often very far from the health centre.

3. Cultural accessibility: health care is frequently ill adapted to patients’ perception of their illness. (Patients’ perception of illness is coloured by their culture. When a doctor denigrates the way a patient sees illness, the patient will no longer want to use the health care services. It happens all the time.)

I am making a commitment because I’m convinced that together we can improve health care services for the world population on the whole, specifically in poor and vulnerable groups. I am thinking here of oppressed populations, above all women and children.

 I believe that through my personal engagement, I can contribute to facilitating access to health care services for people in developing countries and to improving the quality and cultural acceptability of the services provided.

 Moreover, my contributions to these goals have enabled me to live out very enriching experiences in African countries, in Haiti and in Canada.

My Volunteer Experience

I have worked as a volunteer on community health projects in Senegal, South Africa, Haiti and Malawi for what comes to four years.The goal of these projects was in keeping with my personal motivations.

 In South Africa, I took part in a project to improve tuberculosis treatments for residents of Black shantytowns. In Haiti, I was in charge of a health program in an isolated, mountainous region with 80,000 inhabitants where the government offered no services within four hours walking distance. In Mali, I assisted the health centre federation in improving its services.

 My friends and family have a better understanding of the way people live in the countries where I’ve worked. They have also been made aware of the problems I encountered on the ground and have helped to solve some concrete problems, such as building a community school in Haiti.

They also understand that access to care in developing countries is tied to political choices in other countries (including Canada) that support the budgets of governments in poor countries.

Others Volunteers


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Stéphanie Boucher

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Joanie Verret

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