IJUS trains health care workers with support from the PPA Solidarity Fund

In September and October, the Sustainable Juruti Institute (IJUS) trained more than 250 Juruti community health care workers on COVID-19 health protocols. Aiming  to deliver this workshop in all basic health care facilities in Juruti, providing quality information and essential materials for COVID-19 prevention actions. In this first stage, basic health care units in the Mamuru Rio region are receiving the workshop.

“The training prepares people to become information agents in their communities, and complements our delivery of prevention kits. When you engage community leaders and community health care workers, they also work in surrounding communities, and so we can spread this knowledge,” explains Bárbara Espíndola, IJUS executive secretary.

The capacity building workshops are aimed at community health care workers, and community and religious leaders in the region. They address preventive measures for COVID-19, as well as what details to share with the community. In addition, cleaning staff working at health care units are also being trained on how to properly clean common areas. The prevention kits include newsletters, alcohol-based hand sanitizer and face masks for everyone in the community, a professional cleaning cart, and cleaning products to last a few months.

“For us, this training was positive because it provided what the community needed. We wanted the community to have access to a basic prevention kit, including masks. There is no point in talking about prevention, but not giving people what they need,” celebrated Kelly Góes, nurse and coordinator of the Irmã Ávila health care unit in the Juruti Velho region.

An Amazon-adapted approach

The training of health care workers and the distribution of kits complement the radio information campaign that is being broadcast in the region (in remote communities, the campaign is broadcast over PA systems installed on vehicles and boats). The language and media have been adapted for the region, which makes a great difference.

“What I found most interesting is that they have adapted the format to our local culture, and our way of life. The language is very accessible, including the terms they use. This is important because if your message is very technical or scientific, you will not be able to reach people. They won't get the message, and won't be able to put it into practice,” added Kelly.

In some cases, loudspeakers were installed on wheelbarrows, created especially for the campaign. “Some communities cannot be reached even by boat because, when the river dries up, boats get stuck. So, we hire a wheelbarrow with a loudspeaker on top, and push it through the villages, which are made up of just a few families. This ensures that they get all the information they need,” explained Bárbara.

Initially, training was only meant to be carried out in 10 health care centers located in rural areas around Juruti, but thanks to the good results, they were asked to deliver it in town too. So, now all Juruti's five basic health care units, as well as the municipal hospital, will benefit from the program. The impact of the communication campaign is also going beyond Juruti, as radio broadcasts can reach six other municipalities.

Results so far

  • 272 community health care agents (APS) trained;
  • 40 people trained on cleaning and disinfecting common areas;
  • More than 3,000 kits delivered (information packs, hand sanitizer and face masks);
  • Job and income generation from the production of more than 17,000 face masks by local institutions and micro enterprises;
  • All key communities in Juruti benefiting from workshops;
  • 2 radio soap episodes aired;
  • 37,000 people received information on COVID-19 by car, boat, radio and other media, serving over 50 communities in Juruti and surrounding municipalities such as Oriximiná, Terra Santa, Óbidos and Curuá.
  • 9 professional cleaning carts and supplies delivered to basic health care units;

The “Juruti Against COVID-19” project results from a partnership between the Sustainable Juruti Institute (IJUS), the Partnership Platform for the Amazon (PPA), the US International Development Agency (USAID), the Alcoa Foundation, and the Juruti Family Farming Cooperative (COOAFAJUR).