Jul 26, 2017

#GROWCommunity17: Sylbina’s Story: Community Health Promotion in Rural Nicaragua

Author: Erin Burman

When Sylbina was just seventeen years old, she volunteered to leave her rural community in Chinandega, Nicaragua, and go to the capital city of Managua to be trained as a Community Health Promoter by the Nicaraguan Ministry of Health. She has been serving in her community of Calderón ever since.

Over the years, Sylbina has treated hundreds of people in her community, delivered many babies, traveled long distances by horseback to pick up vaccinations from the city, and regularly swam across a river to deliver essential medical supplies to families on the other side. Once, she swam across the river during a hurricane. Community Health Promoters are volunteers, and Sylbina has never been paid for her work.

A few weeks ago, AMOS Health and Hope visited Calderón to monitor the effectiveness of household water filters installed there several years ago. Since AMOS’ engagement model is based on empowerment, community leaders are encouraged to present the results of AMOS studies to their communities; AMOS staff serve merely as translators. Above, Sylbina presents the results of a water test to residents of Calderón during a community gathering. When Sylbina was asked how she’d kept up the stamina to work tirelessly as a Health Promoter for so many decades, she simply said, “The members of my community are like my family.”

GlobeMed Chapter: GlobeMed at Rhodes College
Partner Organization: AMOS Health and Hope
Location: Managua, Nicaragua
Name of GROW Coordinator: Erin Burman

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