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: end of 2009 to March 2010
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).
As the school lessons started again in February 2010, the hygiene promoter returned to the schools for further training of the health committees and to distribute the hygiene kits to the students. Each student received a toothbrush, toothpaste, a glass, a comb and a towel; discussions with the school teachers led to substitute the distribution of individual soap bars with a 1 gallon liquid soap dispenser for each class that guarantees greater efficiency and hygiene. A total number of 5650 personal hygiene kits have been distributed to schoolchildren and 180 classroom cleaning kits have been distributed, each kit is composed by a broom, a brush, rags, a bucket and a waist bin. Moreover each school was provided with two big waste containers, 16 didactic posters on good hygiene practices and 246 didactic materials on personal and environmental hygiene were distributed to schoolteachers.
The schoolteachers committed to continue to support the health Committees.
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 (08/01/2010 - 31/03/2010) 61 "Medical days" have been realized with 9,029 patients being medically assisted, 2,200 receiving dental care and 404 receiving ophthalmological care. Moreover 62 training activities were performed involving 11,043 beneficiaries both students and parents. Moreover during the months of February and March 2010 4026 students received dental fluorine treatment and 102 teachers where trained on hygiene practices. During March 2010 the project medical team was supported by two teams of six North American volunteer medical doctors each of which participated in 8 medical days.
The Nando Peretti Foundation contribution allowed the purchase of medicines and contributed to the displacement expenses of the medical teams.
Below is a table that summarizes the global results which the Nando Peretti Foundation contributed to achieve during the whole project from 01/06/2009 to 30/03/2010.
Activities Number of patients-beneficiaries
1 Medical assistence 15,352
2. Dental care 3,464
3. Ophtalmological care 1,085
Total 1 (1+2+3) 19,901
4. Trainig activity 18,602
Total 2 (Total 1 + 4) 38,503
3. Sanitary infrastructures in 30 schools and in at least 150 homes: toilet construction and sewage.
By the end of march 2010 14 toilets where built in the same number of schools and 13 where rehabilitated. Moreover a total number of 280 toilets where built by the project for 280 families, 130 more than foreseen by the project thanks to the contribution of the beneficiaries with construction materials, good prices obtained in the purchase of materials and contributions from the Tecpán Municipality and the Emergency program of the Italian Embassy in Guatemala.
In two Communities the change of the community representatives in January 2010 has slightly slowed the completion of the activities. However all the materials have been purchased and ICU, the local partner FUDI with the full support of the Municipality of Tecpán Guatemala, are following the building of the toilets in order to complete them as soon as possible.