Global Brigades has recently brought on Dr. Gustavo Soriano to lead our Community Health Workers Program. Global Brigades sponsors the Community Health Workers program known as “Guardianes de Salud”, which was created to empower local community leaders to perpetuate a consistent level of health care and improve access to medical services for rural communities. The program partners with communities in Honduras to provide intensive health worker trainings to selected volunteers in order to provide patients with adequate follow-up between medical brigades and to prevent potential health complications.
These new community leaders are given an intensive course with a curriculum based on a well-known Health promoter’s training book, as well as supplemental information from the Honduran Ministry of Health. Topics include first aid, tropical diseases, STD’S, family planning, and nutrition. Community Health Workers learn how to track the health status of community members and to teach them about preventive health measures. The CHW’s are provided with knowledge on how to give basic treatment for acute diseases, manage medication for chronicly ill patients and refer complicated cases to the next level of care. This program has shown the capacity and importance of using trained community health workers in the locality as a self sustainable tool to direct and ensure prevention of new disease outbreaks and the follow-up care for chronic patients seen during Medical Brigades.