When the larger group of over 30 "promotores" representing groups across the country convened, the entire group democratically voted on a new name. They each "promotore" present wrote their vote on a ballot and a small group pulled them form a hat one at a time, as a man showed the entire group each ballot as the tally was counted on the white board. A powerpoint presentation was shown displaying the year's finances and then the groups strengths. This group sees their strength in numbers/human resources as they have many inspired and devoted volunteers helping better their own communities health. They also value the democratic process as seen in the popular education model prevalent throughout the conference; everyone was involved and there were many opportunities for discussions, comments and observations as well as group activities. They also see their relationship with the government, the Nicaraguan Ministry of Health and church leaders as a strength.
· Self-breast exams
· Traditional Medicine (MASIRAAN) – I have a powerpoint describing MASIRAAN
· Myths, realities, taboos about medicine
· Midwifery training
· Training in cervical uterine cancer
· A reunion with ND’s – specifically the Ometepe group was seeking this opportunity
More about this group of Nicaraguan community health workers:
The group “Atencion Primaria en Salud”, recently changed to ASHA (Acceso a Salud: Health Access), is a democratic, Nicaraguan run non-governmental organization. It began in 1996 and now is comprised of over 300 volunteer community health workers or “promotores”. These volunteers work in the communities in which they live spread across Nicaragua in 11 different municipalities. They work towards the prevention and cure of disease in their populations. Their mission is to collaborate in placing knowledge and empowerment in the hands of their communities.
There are community health workers in the following municipalities; Moyogalpa, Altagracia, La Conquista, El Crucero, Santa Teresa, San Francisco Libre, Mulukuku, Bonanza, District 6.1 and Tipitapa. Over 30 of these community health workers attended this annual meeting in Managua.
One of the projects ASHA is currently undergoing is the distribution of medicines to each community health worker through “Botiquines,” or first aid kits which include basic medicines such as; amoxicillin, acetaminophen, metronidazole and oral rehydration solution. They also hold workshops which they are hoping to expand in the coming years.
For more information or to make suggestions or donations, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.