“A Health Promoter is an agent of change in their community”– Juan de Dios Blandón, Health Promoter of San José de la Mula, Matagalpa
In rural Nicaragua, women and children often suffer from preventable disease. AMOS helps prevent death and disease by equipping local communities with the tools they need to reach out to their most vulnerable neighbors through the model of Community-Based Primary Health Care. We train and accompany local volunteers, called health promoters, to carry out activities that improve community health.
Health promoters are people who are selected by their community’s health committee, which is made up of community leaders who care about improving the health outcomes in their community. The health promoters are trained in the basic provision of health care services, in the prevention of disease, and in the promotion of health in their communities. They minister to people in their communities to improve physical, spiritual, and emotional health.
Each promoter offers primary health services to their community in several ways:
- Attending to patients two days a week at a community clinic the promoter manages.
- By taking a community census, the health promoters and health committee determine who is the most vulnerable to sickness and death. This often includes children under five years old, pregnant women, persons with chronic illnesses, and the elderly.
- As part of their work, health promoters do home visits to people as defined as vulnerable to promote health, provide follow-up care, and prevent illness.
- In the case of a health emergency, all of the AMOS health promoters are certified as first responders and are formally recognized by the Nicaraguan Ministry of Health (MINSA) to arrange for immediate help in their communities.
At AMOS, we strive to work holistically with the communities to facilitate the process of empowerment, so that in the end, it is the people themselves who can take action in a way that improves the health of every member of their community — especially the most vulnerable.
AMOS Health Promoters receive ongoing education and training in the following areas in order to improve health outcomes in their communities:
- Developing a plan with pregnant mothers in order to ensure better birth outcomes and decrease maternal and neonatal mortality.
- Lay epidemiology and anemia
- Rational use of medications
- Integrated management of childhood illnesses (AIEPI)
- Nutritional counseling
- Evaluation techniques and procedures that will guarantee that the health promoters and AMOS staff know how they are improving and what areas they need to work on improving.