We employ about 30 local health promoters who work in our service area. They receive training and work in teams to lead classes that focus on nutrition, diabetes, sexual education, personal hygiene and general health. Over the years our health promoters have received training on everything from prenatal care and disease management to tai chi and stress management! As needs in our communities have changed, it is ODIM's Health Promoters that pick-up on these shifts and allow us to adapt to the needs of our changing community. The health promoters help us to reach out into the community to help create sustainable healthcare that will lead to prevention and better lives for the people here.
The priorities for our health promoters are:
Diabetes – Because of the escalating number of patients with diabetes at the clinic, a multi-faceted program was implemented in the summer of 2012. Health promoters work with over 80 patients teaching weekly classes, emphasizing diet, exercise and overall lifestyle changes. Also on a monthly basis, the promoters monitor blood sugars, weight and blood pressures at the clinic.
Nutrition – Guatemala has the 4th highest level of malnutrition in the world for children 5 years and younger; and our San Pablo community reflects the harshness of this reality. As an answer, we created a comprehensive nutrition program in San Pablo. The model for this program is a global initiative called "The First 1000 Days" in which pregnant mothers are offered healthcare, education, peer support and food assistance through the first 1000 days of life of their child; giving that child the chance to develop mentally and physically in this window so critical to their future.