Besides primary health care, Foundation Human Nature (FHN) engages in health promotion and disease prevention in the areas of non-communicable diseases, clean drinking water and capacity building of community health workers.
Community health workers
Since the initiation for the health centre, there have been recruitment drives for community health workers who are the link between the health centre in La Y and the villages in the surrounding areas. Community health workers arrange appointments for the health brigades, for example, and support their organization.
A rainwater reservoir containing 50.000 litre provides the health centre with water. Before consumption the water needs to be boiled to be germfree. Many households in the region also boil their water, which, however, leads to further deforestation (as electricity is often unavailable, the water is boiled over an open fire). Since 2010, FHN is running a water filter project to facilitate access to clean drinking water, and preventing further deforestation. So far, more than 100 families are using these water filters (2016). Even some schools are using them. In the health centre and the neighbouring “Casa Multiple” where doctors, nurses and other local and international staff members live, the water filters are used as well.
Currently, there is a group of patients with non-communicable diseases such hypertension and diabetes that regularly meets at the health centre. The initiative started off with approximately 15 individuals, while there are now up to 40 people between the ages of 45-85 years who participate. During these meet-ups, the group discusses different topics, e.g. related to a non-communicable disease such as its symptoms and prevention. Moreover, the group engages in gymnastic exercises. Afterwards, measures of weight, blood pressure or blood sugar are offered by the health centre and consultations with health professionals are possible.
Waste management projects help counteract contamination in La Y. At the same time, the health local committee and the inhabitants agreed on staking all horses and mules in two places near the main road reducing the contamination of the village by their excrement.
In 2009, a cooperation for micro finance was founded in the region called “caja de inversion social para la region del Páramo“(CIS). Members of the CIS may request a credit of USD 50 after making a minimum deposit, e.g. to buy fertilizer or seedlings. In some cases, school fees were financed – until returns from the next harvest would allow for the loan repayment. In this way, the family income can be increased and lead to improved living conditions.