Founded: March 2012
Location: Ollantaytambo, Peru
Mission and Vision: Sacred Valley Health is a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the health of the rural inhabitants of Peru’s Sacred Valley through health education, access, and empowerment.
Sacred Valley Health aims to address the health disparities of underserved communities through various health education programs that focus on prevention. Our organization developed programming based on an analysis of data from the Peruvian Ministry of Health, the University of Washington Metrics and Evaluation Department, as well as its own community survey data. This assessment identified the critical health issues of malnutrition, pneumonia and diarrheal disease within its catchment area.
- Community Health Worker (Promotora) Program: Our office travels to communities in the Ollantaytambo District and offers each community the opportunity to elect one member to serve as the village’s official community health worker, or promotora. These women are trained on an ongoing basis through regular workshops in first aid, identification of common diseases, nutrition, hygiene, water safety, and other aspects of disease recognition and prevention. This program was developed in part with Socios en Salud, Partners in Health’s arm in Lima, and DESEA Peru, another community health worker initiative in a different part of the Sacred Valley.
- Train-the-Trainer (Docente) Program: The Docente Program, or “Train the Trainer” Program, serves as a step towards Sacred Valley Health’s sustainable staffing model. Promotoras who have already graduated from the Promotora Program apply to work at Sacred Valley Health as employees. Once hired, these “docentes” are then taught how to train future generations of promotoras. Docentes receive two trainings each month on how to teach specific health topics. These trainings also serve as opportunities to review health information with medically trained staff and to ask questions. With the support of the SVH Community Coordinators, docentes provide health trainings to new promotoras within their communities, as well as new communities. In turn, the new promotoras give health presentations to their community members on important topics. Above all, the Docente Program develops leadership and technical skills amongst talented and dedicated promotoras.
- Vitamin Campaigns: In early 2015, Sacred Valley Health received a donation of 486 bottles of multivitamins from Vitamin Angels to be distributed to children between 6 months and 5 years within the catchment area. During distribution days, children are also weighed and measured, and their government vaccine cards are reviewed in order to identify whether they are at high-risk of health issues. Promotoras then provide follow-up nutrition and vaccine education through targeted house visits to families of the identified high-risk children, while the local health clinic is also given the information to follow-up with their patients.