Aura Estela Toruño was diagnosed with diabetes 12 years ago. Nowadays, she also suffers hypertension.
For many years, she had been coming to the Samaritan Clinic to get her check-ups and tests. One day, she came for an appointment and “the doctor invited me to join a group for patients suffering illnesses like mine. I came for a session, and since then I have kept on coming.”
Aura has been a member of the Support Group for Patients with Chronic Illnesses for more than 2 years.
“I have seen so many changes in my peers and myself. When I first came to the group I didn’t know that eating so much rice and beans was not good for me. All of us have learned together what’s good to eat and what’s not good to eat for our health. We have learned about nutrition and to exercise at least 30 minutes everyday, how to take our medication, and why it’s so important to take it on time.”
Support Groups provide a safe space where peers with similar health conditions can share their experiences, provide support to each other, learn how to live healthier, and face their challenges, fears, and milestones together.
Besides physical wellness, there is also an emotional benefit. “Everything we do in the support group helps us. We are happier, we play and do different activities, we laugh and have fun, we relieve from stress. We feel better.”
“Before, each patient was on their own, seeing the doctor and taking medications. But now, it’s much better, I feel happy every time I come to the group meetings because I know I will have fun and I will learn more about things that can help us live better.”
Since 2014, AMOS has been promoting community health and wellness in Nejapa working alongside local leaders, who together with the Samaritan Clinic staff, lead sessions of Support Groups for: Patients with Chronic Illnesses, Pregnant Moms, and the Youth.
THE AMOS URBAN PROGRAM SUPPORTS:
- 696 Average clinic visits per month
- 12 Urban Health Educators (Consejeras)
- 74 people in Support Groups
Special thanks to Agape Visuals for the video and last photo in this article.