Promotores de Salud - Providers of Health
Promotores de Salud (Providers of Health)
Purpose: To provide first aid and medical attention by trained local specialists.
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 the supplies as needed, thereby assisting in sustaining the project.
The training for this project by a community elected volunteer can take several years of hard work. Few local citizens can be absent for days at a time from their families, where everyone is needed to cover the basics of everyday living. If one member leaves the home front to travel a long distance by boat to El Fundo, they must be absent from home for a minimum of five days.
The Promotores 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 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 to use immediately the training from APECA!
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