BENEFITING: Maravilla Health
Healthcare is something most of us take for granted. Yet, for many in the world accessing even the most basic and essential primary care requires a long, difficult journey on foot, by bus, or horseback.
The challenges are great but not insurmountable and Maravilla Health is taking those on. Maravilla Health is a US-based non-profit we launched in 2015 to support grassroots organizations in resource-poor Latin American countries which focus on the double win – protecting health and creating jobs. One such organization is Atencion Primaria en Salud (APS), a community-based organization in the second poorest country in the Western hemisphere, Nicaragua.
Maravilla Health seeks to develop and expand the community health entrepreneur (CHE) model best championed by APS. APS trains and empowers community members to provide basic health care services in the most impoverished and remote areas where there is no doctor. CHEs learn to take vital signs, assess patients, and provide appropriate treatment and referrals when specialized care is needed. APS also helps Community Health Entrepreneurs establish small pharmacies in their own communities where medications are otherwise not available.
APS Community Health Entrepreneur =
Community Health Worker + Micro-entrepreneur
CHEs are the cornerstone of a successful pilot program APS launched in March 2015 to alleviate medication shortages in rural Nicaragua. The name of the program WINAMBA!!! is a local indigenous word meaning “Onward!” or “Let’s Go!”. It epitomizes the desire to achieve the double win - prevent and cure the most common diseases in their local communities while building a small business that will help CHEs provide a better future for themselves and their families.
Twenty-four year old Reynaldo, APS CHE, sees an average of 40 patients a month, finding time to serve his community between his other duties as a lumberjack and farmer. During the month of June alone, Reynaldo saved two lives by assessing the severity of two patients who required immediate transport to the hospital for surgical care. The closest hospital 55km away requires a journey of 2 hours by bus, 2.5 hours by truck and 2 hours on horseback. In addition to caring for his community Reynaldo is able to better provide for his family. He describes WINAMBA!!!, “like a gift from God … before I was earning maybe 150-240 cordobas per month (~ $5-8 USD). Working hard, using my intelligence, now I’m earning between 1,500 and 2,000 cordobas per month (~$52-69). Thank you.”
We invite you to support the growth of this life saving and empowering program. Help APS recruit and train more CHEs like Reynaldo. Your support will ensure that community health entrepreneurs are equipped to provide high quality care to their communities and to grow their small businesses. For your donation of:
• $32, you will support one full day of training of a community health entrepreneur (includes transportation costs, lodging, food, teaching supplies)
• $36 you will provide one community health entrepreneur with two essential Primary Care Reference Books to use for training, dosing references and continued education
• $56, you will give children and adults with asthma access to nebulizer treatments within their own community
• $64, you will ensure diabetic patients have access to a glucometer in their community, as well as self-management education. This means they won’t need to travel hours through difficult terrain to access care to maintain control of their blood sugars
• $112, you will equip community health entrepreneurs with the diagnostic tools they need to identify and link hypertensive and diabetic patients to the necessary heath services and treatment they need
• $125, you will provide a micro-loan to a community health entrepreneur to use in buying the initial stock of medications for their community-based pharmacy.
We are happy to announce that Pearl Jam's Vitalogy Foundation has agreed to match all donations up to $10,000 as part of this campaign.
To learn more about APS, please visit www.apsnicaragua.org
In addition to training Community Health Entrepreneurs, APS is dedicated to developing the next generation of physicians and researchers, in the US and Nicaragua, through two of its flagship programs:
• Nicaraguan Social Medicine Course
• Nicaragua-US Partnered Research Program