How We Work
“Community-based” simply means health care for the community, by the community – in a word, empowerment. AMOS works by invitation only, meaning that we only serve communities that request our services. Once a community has asked for assistance, AMOS comes alongside and helps the community to identify local leaders who will take up the cause of good health. These local leaders then form a health committee, which works in conjunction with a health promoter. The health promoter is an individual who receives basic medical training in order to provide treatment, medicine, and preventive care. Together, the committee and the promoter help to care for every individual in their community, with special attention given to the most vulnerable people.
Census-based health care is a crucial component of AMOS’ core methodology that helps to ensure equitable aid distribution while also facilitating community organization. It begins with the attitude: “Everyone is counted and every one counts.” Each year, the health committee goes to every single house in their community, counting the number of people in each family and taking special note of individuals with increased risk factors including pregnant/nursing mothers, newborn infants, and patients with chronic disease. This data allows the community to gain a better picture of the overall health situation, which in turn creates opportunities for action and quantifiable interventions which ultimately result in improved health.
Knowledge for the people and by the people is one of our mottos at AMOS. We strive to help people in the communities to be their own investigators, to determine their priorities, conduct their own research in partnership with AMOS and others, and create plans for action to improve the health of their communities. At AMOS, we see ourselves as long term co-learners and partners to collectively work towards healthier communities.
AMOS seeks systemic change at the legislative and policy level via a three-way partnership with 1) the government (MINSA – Nicaraguan National Ministry of Health), 2) local leaders and 3) non-government organizations (AMOS). For more information on the nature of this partnership, we recommend reading Just and Lasting Change by Daniel and Carl Taylor (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2002). Coordination with MINSA (National Ministry of Health): Vaccination campaign, census sharing.
AMOS is a faith-based organization. All of our work flows out of the conviction that God cares for the poor and that His heart is for compassion, healing and justice.