The rural, remote community of Sabalete, in the mountains of Matagalpa, has two Health Promoters: Pedro Pablo Guillén, an active and experienced Health Promoter; and José Alberto Obregón, a Health Promoter in training.
Pedro Pablo explains the reason behind this: “The community of Sabalete is very large. Currently, there are 231 families, whose houses are separated by great distances. With the continuous increase in families, it became very difficult for me to visit all of them and care for their different health needs. For this reason, I decided to request the selection of a second Health Promoter for the community.”
It is not common for a community to have two Health Promoters at the same time. However, in this case, José Alberto is being trained to support a more experienced Promoter. For Pedro Pablo, the help of a young and energetic person like José Alberto has been essential to meet the needs of the families in the community.
“Usually, we walk for 3 to 4 hours during home visits,” explains Pedro Pablo. “Between José and I we divide the sectors that we are going to cover for the day. We also have 4 members of the health committee, each of whom is in charge of monitoring 1 sector. In this way, we can better meet the needs of the community and share the workload.”
“Since José is still in training, he does not have a stock of medicines under his charge, yet,” adds Pedro Pablo. “We hope that as his training progresses, José can take on more responsibilities and assume a more prominent leadership role in the community.”
José Alberto began his training in 2019. Since then, José has gone through different stages, challenges, and aspects of the training in order to become a Health Promoter for his community.
José Alberto tells us: “I have learned a lot from the trainings and all the work we have been doing. Thanks to Pedro Pablo I have managed to understand a lot of what the job requires. With your support, I have mastered many subjects, I am already doing home visits, offering care to pregnant women, and helping with clinic visits at the community clinic.”
– Has the amount of work decreased, now that the community has two Health Promoters?
Pedro Pablo: “Before Jose Alberto came in, I felt very tired. Home visits were taking too long and the records we have to fill seemed too much. I was mentally and physically exhausted. There was a time when I no longer wanted to serve as a Health Promoter because of all the work that was overloading me. That’s when I realized I couldn’t do it all by myself.”
“Now that I have Alberto’s support, we fill out the forms together and coordinate the meetings with the health committee members. I feel that I rest a little more and that I have support.
We do our best to continue serving the community and meet the goals we have set.”
“There is a saying that goes: ‘A single swallow does not make a summer.’ But if there were many swallows, it would be different. Now that there are two of us, we are seeing the results. During the most recent AMOS supervision, we got 100%. All thanks to teamwork.”
Did the training you receive in 2020 help you better serve the needs of the community?
José Alberto: “For me, the trainings were very helpful. 2020 was a tough year for us as Health Promoters because we were dealing with the coronavirus pandemic. I am thankful to the team that provided us with the personal protective equipment and shared with us about the prevention measures to reduce the spread of the virus. All of this was very useful for me, to be able to provide information to the community.”
Pedro Pablo: “I am very grateful to AMOS and to the donors. We, -Health Promoters- stand hand by hand with AMOS, and AMOS is close to our brothers and sisters, our donors and supporters. With COVID-19, we were alarmed. But thanks to AMOS, we received the information we needed to be able to help the community, even to protect our own families. Thanks to God, we didn’t have a single case of COVID in the community. To this date, we remain vigilant, but we have not had any problems. “
Pedro Pablo: “We worked with different community leaders to be able to share information on how to prevent the spread of the virus. Many of them were religious leaders who gave us a space to share this important information with families. All this to avoid infections. We were also on alert when someone came from outside the community. We spoke with that person and shared with him about prevention measures, social distancing and hand washing. We also had good coordination with neighboring communities to take care of each other. “
José Alberto: “It was a challenge for us to get the community to understand that the use of masks was necessary and that it was for the benefit of all. Some people thought it was a joke or that we were taking it too seriously. But, as the pandemic progressed, they began to understand the seriousness of what was happening and that what we were telling them was necessary to take care of the community. “
Your support to AMOS helps local leaders, like Pedro Pablo and José Alberto, have access to the training, medicines, and supplies they need to care for the most vulnerable people in their communities and help save lives. Thank you!