Health and Prevention Services in 30 Local Communities

Project location: GUATEMALA, Chimaltenango
Project start date: June 2009 - Project end date: March 2010
Project number: 2009-49
Beneficiary: Istituto per la Cooperazione Universitaria Onlus

Timeline of the present activity report:
From 01/06/2009 to 07/12/2009

During the first six project months the project reached different achievements within the activities supported by the Nando Peretti Foundation:
1. Training in basic personal hygiene for schoolchildren in 30 beneficiary schools.
This activity has been carried out from June to mid-September 2009 by a hygiene promoter who visited all the beneficiary schools and created a "Health Committee", formed by at least two children, in each class of every school. The "Committee" members were then trained in basic personal and environmental hygiene practices and invited to teach the rest of the class how to apply them and monitor their schoolmates to make sure the teachings were applied. The Committee members are elected by their schoolmates and confirmed by their teachers resulting therefore credible and influential. This methodology, developed by project partner FUDI - Fundación para el Desarrollo Integral, during its ten year experience promoting health in rural communities, takes into account the leadership characteristics of the responsible schoolchildren, their learning capacity and conditions and proves more effective compared to an action carried out exclusively by the teachers. The abovementioned activities complete the trainings on basic hygiene which have constantly been carried out by the project nurses during the "medical days" performed in the schools (see activity n. 2).
Once the "Health Committee" is in place each schoolchild receives a hygiene kit composed by toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, a bowl, and a towel. Moreover a kit for the classroom cleaning is also provided: brooms, mops, dusters, detergents and a waist bin. A number of yellow waistcoats are also provided to identify the students in charge of checking the hygiene conditions. As the school year has ended at the beginning of October, only the personal hygiene items have been distributed while the other materials will be distributed in January 2010 at the beginning of the new school year. The distribution will give us the opportunity to come back on hygiene issues with the children and put in place the "Health Committees" for the first year students.
During September 2009 a total of 5537 personal hygiene kits and 420 yellow waistcoats for Committee members were distributed in the 30 beneficiary schools.

2. "Medical days" in the 30 beneficiary communities.
"Medical days" are realized by the ICU-FUDI project since June 2008. Once a month a team composed by a physician, two nurses, a dentist and an optometrist visits each one of the 30 project communities. To allow each community to be visited once a month two teams perform three to four weekly visits each. The objective is to provide even the most remote rural communities with qualified medical attention and to raise the awareness on the importance of maintaining hygiene to prevent diseases.
During the period covered by the present report (01/06/2009 - 07/12/2009) 238 "Medical days" have been realized with 5681 patients being medically assisted, 1205 receiving dental care and 681 receiving ophthalmological care. Moreover 146 training activities were performed involving 5261 beneficiaries both students and parents.
The Nando Peretti Foundation contribution allowed the purchase of medicines and contributed to the displacement expenses of the medical teams.

3. Sanitary infrastructures in 30 schools and in at least 150 homes: toilet construction and sewage.
During the period covered by the report the 30 beneficiary schools where visited to determine the needs of each one in terms of sanitary infrastructure. Also meetings with local communities were held to organize the activities and agree upon the voluntary contribution in manpower that beneficiaries will give. Criteria were also defined to identify the beneficiaries of the sanitary infrastructure to be provided to families: toilet with septic tank, draining system. The criteria prioritize large families with low socio-economical conditions and bad or inexistent sanitary infrastructure.
The procurement of necessary materials was performed so that works can begin during the month of December 2009.

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