Laura Libman and Ana Paula Torres (middle) talk to the Promotoras (Community Health Workers) during our follow-up study in El Salvador. Topics of discussion include empowering the Promotoras to seek assistance from the municipal government to maintain sustainability of their health programs, monthly small-group meetings among the promotoras to discuss experiences, consult on cases, share supplies, and to reinforce their skills by practicing on each other and talking about topics from their book, “Donde No Hay Doctor”.
Monica Torres (left) interviews a Promotora during this 3 month follow-up study. The results compiled from this study were amazing! One newborn’s life was saved by a Promotora who gave an anti-scorpion venom injection. Another Promotora saved a 7 year old boy. The boy’s mother came running to the Promotora’s house because her son was choking and turning blue. The Promotora raced to the boy and successfully performed the Heimlich maneuver.
Other Promotoras have been volunteering to assist at the health center (when it is open) and have been helping the doctor by taking vital statistics and other performing other procedures, which freed the doctor’s time to perform more complex procedures and to treat more patients.
Many of the Promotoras have been talking to their neighbors about health topics, including how to improve their diet, the importance of personal hygiene and how to care for illnesses and chronic diseases like high blood pressure and diabetes, which are common maladies in these villages. All of these examples are exciting confirmations that self-development is occurring!
Check back soon! Our graduation ceremony for our Promotoras in the municipality of Teocuitatlan de Corona, Jalisco is tomorrow!