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Promodores de Salud (Providers of Health)

Promodores de Salud (Providers of Health)

To provide first aid and medical attention by trained local specialists.

Sometimes, actions say it all, and the news of ‘kindness shown’ travels quickly through the dense wild growth that hides monkeys, spiders, birds, snakes, capybara and the sacha vaca as Health Providers travel in a boat that offers first aid for free. Without words that can be understood, eyes express and interpret--intuition is the common language. With all the trappings of cultural beliefs, the healing of illness brings people together. Some travel seven days and nights to reach El Fundo where training and aid are provided. People who need health care and cannot heal themselves of an illness are highly motivated to find that healing and to learn how to heal themselves.  

Description: The first classes of "Providers of Health" volunteers from rural communities completed their training in 2000 and 2001. Each of the fifteen class members was elected by his/her community to become a resource for health and first aid in the village. Health professionals conducted the training during six, three-day, sessions at El Fundo. Each qualified trainee then received a health chest of basic medical supplies for his/her village. The villagers commit to replacing them as needed, thereby assisting in sustaining the project.

The Promodores use both pharmaceutical medicines and local natural medicines. They are APECA’s liaison in the villages to promote projects for clean water, waste disposal, and other community developments. Through agreement with the Ministry of Health, this project now has expanded in course material, leading to many communities now with improved health care.

The achievement of successful completion of APECA Promotor de Salud training by a community elected volunteer can take several years of hard work. Not many people can be separated for days at a time from their family ’team’ where everyone is needed to cover the basics of everyday life. The total family needs to do more than their own part so one member can leave the home front and travel a distance by boat to El Fundo where training sessions require a total of five days separated from the family.

The Community Health Chest containing vital supplies is awarded when training is completed. This gift from APECA becomes the start of the community managed medications and supplies which will be replenished by the community members. Some communities plant a crop dedicated to this endeavor, while others find a way to charge for the use of supplies according to ability to pay. Management of the Health Chest is a community effort that puts the training from APECA to use immediately!

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