On Wednesday, I had the pleasure of sitting down with Michelle Glatt, our Director of Programming, to discuss the new promotora (community health worker) training curriculum she’s been planning. I present you with some excerpts from our interview!
“In the past couple years, SVH/Ayni Wasi* has developed a promotora program that has gained the communities’ trust. All our work up to this point has been essential in allowing us to advance beyond providing promotoras a general medical education. We can now focus on the highest-risk conditions suffered in the communities.” What does this refined version of our program look like?
The new curriculum offers promotoras a deeper understanding of the most critical health issues in our catchment area. More than ever, our community health worker trainings are designed to develop specialized skillsets around the recognition of conditions, such as respiratory disease and diarrhea, that cause the most suffering in our communities.
We are a protocol-driven organization. This means that we’re supplying the promotoras the same problem-management tools that help health professionals worldwide make good diagnostic and triage decisions. Medical protocols enable the promotoras to quickly and efficiently make decisions that support the scope of our work. For example, protocols help the promotoras distinguish between a patient suffering from mild diarrhea and one with life-threatening dehydration that requires a higher level of care.
We are defining success based on a solid M&E program. We’ve worked hard to develop a robust monitoring and evaluation plan that allows us to measure not just how much the promotoras are learning, but also the health outcomes generated by their educational and health services in the communities.
Michelle’s resounding message: “Education has the power to change health outcomes.” She and the rest of the SVH/Ayni Wasi team are driven by this principle each day.
– Written by Courtney Weintraub
*Ayni Wasi is the name under which Sacred Valley Health operates in Peru. Quechua is the native language of the people in our catchment area, and of around 6 million people in the Andean regions of Peru, Ecuador, and Bolivia. Ayni Wasi means House of Reciprocity in Quechua.