Now that it is March and the worst of the rainy season has passed, promotora (community health worker) trainings have resumed. Last Friday, we reviewed content from the previous four capacitaciones (trainings). During the first half of the session, the promotoras rotated through interactive stations to review skills for treating hypothermia, diarrhea, and gastritis.
At each station a staff member pretended to have one of these ailments. The promotoras asked questions to assess the symptoms and decide on the best form of treatment: What is the problem? What are the symptoms? When did they start? Have you done anything that has made the symptoms better or worse?
At the diarrhea station the promotoras decided to make Community Coordinator Lydia a suero oral (rehydration solution) and then send her to the health posta (health clinic).
At the hypothermia station, the promotoras decided to give damp, shivering Community Coordinator Sarah a dry change of clothes, simple food, and warm rocks wrapped in cloth to hold to her chest.
When the promotoras arrived at the gastritis station, they found Community Coordinator Jenny smoking and drinking coffee. They recommended that she eat more fruits and vegetables, avoid spicy foods and stop smoking and drinking coffee and suggested she drink mate de muña, a local soothing tea similar to mint.
In the second half of the training session, the promotoras rotated between two stations where they reviewed nutrition and medicinal plant knowledge. At the nutrition station, the promotoras sorted pictures of typical local foods into macronutient and micronutrient categories to build a balanced diet. At the medicinal plant station, the promotoras demonstrated how to make pomades, tinctures, and teas to treat minor ailments such as achy joints and stomach aches.
The capacitacion finished with a delicious homemade lunch that demonstrated the kind of balanced diet we had just reviewed at the nutrition station.
– Written by Lydia Jessup