Less than 20% of placements left! Want to work & travel in Canada? 馃嚚馃嚘 Sign up today! (for U.S. passport holders only)
Want to work & travel in Canada? 馃嚚馃嚘 Sign up today!
Share your adventures from a cultural immersion summer through American Adventure Quest now.
Travel Experiences US Residents
USA
Foundation
Educating Community Health Workers in Peru
Educating Community Health Workers in Peru

Educating Community Health Workers in Peru

December 7, 2015

2 -min read

As I approach three months in Ollantaytambo, we held our first continuing education training, or capacitaci贸n, for our first two rounds of promotoras (P1 and P2). These promotoras have been part of the program for over two years. The topic of the training was iron deficiency anemia, which is a major health issue in in the communities surrounding Ollantaytambo. In 2014 in the Cusco region of Peru, 46.7% (N=58,896) of children under five and 21.7% (N=958) of women of reproductive age (15-49) suffered from anemia (ENDES 2014). Symptoms of anemia include fatigue, weakness, shortness of breath, dizziness, and headaches. Anemia can damage the brain, heart and other major organs, leading to poor cognitive and physical development and therefore reinforcing a cycle of low educational attainment and poverty. Anemia also contributes to reduced work productivity, an increased risk of morbidity in children, poor pregnancy outcomes, and even maternal death.

Some symptoms of anemia as depicted in our recursos.
Some symptoms of anemia as depicted in our recursos.

Some symptoms of anemia as depicted in our recursos. Image courtesy of Kelly.

The half-day training included a mixture of reviewing resources, or recursos, that promotoras could take into the field with them during house visits or presentations, and activities to reinforce messages learned. In one of the activities, we had the promotoras split into two groups and take part in a relay race to review foods with high iron content that can help prevent anemia. The promotoras ran to a station with 6 photos and had to correctly pick the two foods with iron, before returning to their team so the next promotora could begin.

Can you identify the two iron-rich foods?
Can you identify the two iron-rich foods?

Can you identify the two iron-rich foods? Image courtesy of Kelly.

One of the challenges of working with the promotoras is that they are a low literacy group, as many of them only speak Quechua, the local indigenous language in Peru. Therefore we rely heavily on using pictures and movement games to stimulate learning.

A promotora participating in an activity to identify the symptoms of anemia
A promotora participating in an activity to identify the symptoms of anemia

promotora participating in an activity to identify the symptoms of anemia. Image courtesy of Kelly.

The next set of trainings will focus on women鈥檚 health. This new program will train a select group of promotoras to conduct targeted home visits to expecting and new mothers. Topics include pre- and postnatal care, family planning, healthy relationships, STDs, exclusive breastfeeding, and infant and early childhood development. Stay tuned to learn more about this exciting new program launching in January!


Kelly holds a master鈥檚 degree in public health from New York University. She currently volunteers in Peru with the help of a Christianson Fellowship from the InterExchange Foundation.

Tags

Travel Experiences US Residents

share this article

InterExchange is proud to have an experienced team that is dedicated to international cultural exchange. We come from a variety of backgrounds, but nearly every member of our New York City-based staff has extensive experience traveling, working, or living abroad.

Tags

Travel Experiences US Residents

share this article

Related Articles

For International Participants
3 -min read

June 21, 2024

The world of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and modern digital tools is revolutionizing the way we approach mastering English and other languages. And the best part? Many of these incredible resources are completely free!
For International Participants
7 -min read

June 20, 2024

The tools we have at our fingertips can take much of the stress out of traveling, allowing us to truly make the most of our time to explore. These are a few of my favorite apps for travel.
For International Participants
2 -min read

June 4, 2024

Meet Valeria Luz Velazco, an adventurous spirit from Peru who embarked on her life-changing Work & Travel USA cultural exchange program journey two years ago. This past winter marked her final visit to the U.S. and while she gained valuable insights from her previous experiences, this year’s journey proved to be truly transformative.