In-school health campaigns with St. John Fisher nursing students

Sacred Valley Health is delighted to host nursing students from the Wegmans School of Nursing at St. John Fisher University (Rochester, New York). The nursing students are the third group from SJF to visit the Sacred Valley, and they are with us for two weeks as part of their final academic semester. During their time here, they will work with our promotoras de salud (community health workers) and staff to implement four health education campaigns in rural schools. On Thursday and Friday, in-school health campaigns took place in the communities of Soccma and T’astayoc.

St. John Fisher students pictured with Professor Natalie Masco (back row far left) and Keri Baker, RN, SVH cofounder (back row, third from left).
St. John Fisher nursing students pictured with Professor Natalie Masco (back row far left) and Keri Baker RN, SVH cofounder (back row, third from left).

The nine nursing students worked with the promotoras (community health workers) to educate the children about tooth brushing, hand washing, and basic nutrition. The children rotated between stations. At one, they received a toothbrush and paste and learned how to brush their teeth – tooth decay is a major issue in rural Peru and causes a lot of preventable suffering.

In T'astayoc, four children attend the oral hygiene station.
In T’astayoc, four children attend the oral hygiene station.

At another station, children learned how to wash their hands with soap at a Tippy Tap. Nursing students explained how hand washing can prevent the spread of illness.

After using the Tippy Tap to wash hands, there is time for some more fun.
After using the Tippy Tap to wash hands, there is time for some more fun.

At a third station, children learned nutrition basics and how including fruits and vegetables in their diet can help them to grow and stay healthy. Many people in high altitude communities live mostly on potatoes, although many fruits and vegetables are grown in lower altitude communities and are available in the markets.

Yes! Avocado is a fruit.
Yes! Avocado is a fruit.

Finally, the nursing students provided well child checks, head-to-toe physical assessments intended to identify any health issues. Last week’s campaigns in the Soccma and T’astayoc schools reached 40 children.

The children were in great spirits throughout.
The children were in great spirits throughout.

Next week, the St. John Fisher students will enter the data from the physicals into the Sacred Valley Health database. This data will enable us to identify pockets of malnutrition and other health issues that we will address in future campaigns.

Give the children in T'astayoc a football and they will keep running until they have to go home.
Give the children in T’astayoc a football and they will keep running until they have to go home.

A big thank you to the St. John Fisher team for working with Sacred Valley Health/ Ayni Wasi to deliver onsite health education and services to children in remote communities!

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