Sandra was 6-months pregnant with her second child when she felt severe back and abdominal pain. She remembered that the health promoter in her rural community of El Socorro, Isaac Fley, had taught her this was a sign of alarm. She sought urgent help and her husband went looking for Isaac, who told them she needed to be transferred to a health unit immediately.
Isaac called for an ambulance: “It had been raining a lot and the river at the entrance to the community was too high for the ambulance to cross. So the staff at the health center told me they would send the ambulance, but we needed to find a way to take Sandra to the other side of the river.”
In the past, Isaac and the emergency transportation committee had carried patients on foot across the river. However, this time the water was way above the waist-line and it was too risky for everyone, including Sandra.
“It was a desperate situation. We asked the owner of a big farm to let us use his truck. Thanks to God, he agreed to take Sandra to the other side. She was taken to the regional hospital and stayed there for 6 days, recovering from a severe kidney infection.” Months later, Sandra gave birth to a healthy baby boy and both are doing well.
Isaac and the Health Committee knew that this story could have ended very differently and they had had other emergencies when the river posed an obstacle to access emergency care. So, they decided to start a project to build a pedestrian suspension bridge.
“Many families helped contribute whatever they could – money, materials, their labor and time – we advocated with local authorities in the municipality for support with the rest of materials we needed.
Everyone in the community participated and now we have a bridge to get to and out of the community. Recently, we had a couple of health emergencies where patients needed to go to the health unit and the river was high.
This time there was no delay for them to access the care they needed.”
-Isaac Fley, AMOS-trained Health Promoter
For many years, AMOS has partnered with El Socorro to strengthen their organizational capacities and advance community empowerment for the wellbeing of families in need. Thank you, because your unwavering support continues to give all of us so much hope.