Community health workers are critically important to newborn and child survival in northern Nicaragua. For 75 percent of the population, poor roads and difficult terrain make it difficult to reach much-needed healthcare. Save the Children is working with communities to ensure the affordable solutions that save children’s lives are available even in the most remote areas.
We are training, equipping and supporting existing community health workers – brigadistas – to provide treatment for babies and young children.
In 35 communities, 360 brigadistas have already treated pneumonia, diarrhea and dysentery using simple tools – antibiotics, re-hydration solution and zinc tablets. We have also taught parents to recognize the signs of common childhood infections and how to seek help. This approach has been so successful that we are expanding it to 100 communities and are working with health agencies to include community-based care in the Nicaraguan child health strategy.
We plan to adapt and apply lessons learned in Nicaragua to programs in other Latin American countries. We know we cannot tackle this problem alone. As well as working with communities, we are collaborating with other organizations, governments and donors. By working together we will magnify our voice and our impact, and make saving children’s lives a shared global priority.
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