Tag Archives: Collaborative relationships

Participating in a medical campaign helps this woman build her self-esteem

In November, the ProSalud project organized a 2-day medical campaign in San Sebastián area of Los Reyes, in collaboration with some local public health workers, a group of doctors from Puebla and a team of doctors and a pharmacist from the Fellowship Bible Church of Batesville. In two days, these dedicated professionals carried out 239 medical exams, 61 dental exams, 15 optometry exams, treated 520 people for parasites and provided vaccinations and dispensed prescriptions free of charge.

campana medica- San Sebas 11-2014- 2However, medical campaigns do more than just provide low-cost, accessible health services to the slum communities where we work. They also provide a vehicle for the community to come together and organize on its own behalf. Carrying out this campaign would not have been possible without the participation of a team of community volunteers, who set up and tore down the site, volunteered space in their homes for exam rooms, signed in and prepped patients, kept records and brought food they had prepared for the visiting doctors. This gave these neighbors a chance to actively contribute to the betterment of their own community as well as develop their own servant leadership qualities.

“Josefina,” who lives in San Sebastián, struggles with self-esteem issues due to her lack of formal education. Because she cannot read or write well, she tends to feels inferior to people who have had more schooling. However she has been participating in the local Family Club and, during the campaign, staff observed that she was actively participating all day: taking vital signs, handing out patient numbers and helping to clean up afterwards. Several days later, “Josefina” commented to ProSalud staff that participating in the campaign had made her feel useful, despite the fear she has of not doing things well. She said, “I am going to keep on attending the [Family Club] workshops, so that this fear goes away.”

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Fortaleza works to bring new educational opportunities to adults in San Sebastián

In April, Fortaleza began negotiations with the National Institute for Adult Education (INEA) to launch basic education “study circles” in different neighborhoods in San Sebastián. These classes will give people over 15 the opportunity to finish their elementary or middle school education or, in the case of those who never went to school, learn to read. Last month the project Facilitator met with teaching staff on three occasions to work out the details of the collaboration and how to recruit youth to be “local advisers.” A “local advisor” is a community member who is hired by INEA and trained to coordinate and teach the study circles. The Facilitator also went to the main INEA office at the National College of Professional Technical Education (CONALEP) to sit in on a study circle as well as a training session for newly recruited local advisers.

Fortaleza also interviewed and began the introductory servant leadership training process with Mariana, the first new INEA local adviser in San Sebastián. As a local adviser, Mariana will be in charge of the neighborhood where the Emiliano Zapata elementary school is located. So far 21 people have registered for this first study circle, with one month of registration still to go before classes begin.

ProSalud advocacy succeeds in bringing first-ever oral hygiene campaign to San Sebastián

Thanks to negotiations that have taken place with the Los Reyes municipal public health services in the last few months, a group of dentists will soon going out to San Sebastián to host an oral hygiene campaign. This event is part of the municipal of Health Secretary’s overall oral health campaign; however, it is strictly due to ProSalud’s advocacy that the campaign agreed to spend an entire day in the remote San Sebastián neighborhood.

Although ProSalud has arranged for dental services to be available in previous general medical campaigns, there has never been a campaign focused on oral hygiene in this neighborhood before. Currently, residents of San Sebastian have to travel at least a half hour to the public health clinic in order to receive low-cost dental treatment. The time and cost of transportation involved can be a barrier for many families. During the event, participating dentists are hoping to provide exams, fillings, cleanings, fluoride application and other preventative care to at least 50 children. ProSalud will also hold a workshop for children on cavity prevention and toothbrushing techniques and give away toothbrushes and toothpaste as door prizes.

Community health project shows large-scale impacts in Chimalhuacán

In 2013, roughly 1,500 people from 310 families involved in different Family Clubs and an exercise club in Chimalhuacán were impacted through Project ProSalud. Each of these Family Clubs has its own Community Health Promoter, who participates in ongoing training and mentoring by ProSalud staff.

In 2013 we also signed working agreements and collaborated with public health institutions. Thanks to these agreements, 1,770 people were directly referred to existing public or private health services,IMG_9295 including cancer screenings, dental services and vaccinations. The impact of these collaborations has been gratifying; for example, 64% of those vaccinated who were surveyed reported being sick less often.   In collaboration with the municipal health authorities, ProSalud also launched a massive parasite treatment campaign in which 30,000 people participated. 82% of those treated for parasites who were surveyed reported having less stomach problems.

Lastly, 360 malnourished children participated in ProSalud’s nutrition program in 2013, where they received nutritional supplements in order to optimize their growth, and 100 people with disabilities received donated wheelchairs.

Partnerships with public health authorities increase health access for slum dwellers

ProSalud began working in San José Palmas in 2013 by holding community meetings aimed at forming Family Health Clubs. After a little over a year of working in the Palmas community, ProSalud currently has five functioning Family Clubs in this area, impacting approximately 500 people from 125 families.  Each Family Club has a Community Health Promoter who is receiving ongoing training from project staff on health-related issues.  In addition, due to our collaborative relationships with public health service providers, more than 1,200 individuals received medical and dental services during three medical campaigns and 218 people were referred to low-cost dental services, counseling and speech therapy.

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First Municipal Parasite Treatment Campaign- We are thankful for the unconditional support of Transformación Urbana Internacional

In 2013, ProSalud was also invited to attend a municipal health committee meeting in Los Reyes La Paz. At that meeting the health authorities revealed that parasite infestation was the second most important health problem in the municipality. As a result, ProSalud began a massive anti-parasite campaign, holding workshops and distributing parasite treatment medication in collaboration with the municipal health authorities. All told, 35,000 people received treatment for parasites. An impact study which was reviewed and approved by Dr. Victor Santoyo Alvarez, epidemiologist and regional director of majority of the Los Reyes La Paz municipal health clinics, found that 82% of the people surveyed reported less stomach problems after receiving treatment.