Community Health Workers
Global Brigades sponsors the Community Health Workers program known as “Guardianes de Salud.” This program was created in 2009 to empower local community leaders to perpetuate a consistent level of healthcare and improve the access to medical services within rural communities. The program partners with communities in Honduras to provide intensive health worker training to selected volunteers. These Community Health Workers (CHWs) ensure that patients receive adequate follow-up between medical brigades and help to prevent potential health complications in the communities.
These community leaders receive an intensive training course with a curriculum based on the well-known health promoter’s training books “Where There is No Doctor” and “Helping Health Workers Learn,” as well as supplemental information from the Honduras Ministry of Health. The CHWs are trained in health topics including first aid and wound care, the treatment of tropical diseases, STD transmission and prevention, family planning, and nutrition and hygiene. Our CHWs also learn how to track the health status of community members and teach fellow community members about preventive health measures. Their training includes the necessary tools and knowledge on how to give basic treatment for acute diseases, monitor children for proper nutrition and development, manage medication for chronically ill patients, and refer complicated cases to the next level of care. At the end of their training, the CHWs are recognized by the Honduras Ministry of Health as local health promoters. By educating local community volunteers, we are also promoting community leadership and empowerment, which has proven to be quite beneficial in the communities.