Health Promoter, Child and Mother
In order to identify babies born with cleft lip and palate and quickly provide nutritional support to the baby and education for the family, Partner for Surgery (PfS) has a network of Health Promoters who are actively engaged in the various rural communities we serve in Guatemala.
Health Promoters help publicize triage and surgical missions and locate patients in need of life changing surgery.
They monitor babies in the Cleft Infant Nutrition Program as well as escort patients to the hospital and stay with them until they are ready to go home.
If problems develop, patients know they can count on Health Promoters for reassurance and assistance.
The example of Damien and Zoila
Abelina was bringing her newborn son Damien home from hospital on a bus when the driver noticed she was distraught. The driver saw that Damien had a cleft lip and palate and contacted Zoila, the local PfS Health Promoter.
Zoila hurried to Abelina's home and found the father angrily rejecting his son and telling Abelina "Stop feeding him and let him die!"
Zoila convinced both parents to enroll Damien in PfS's in-home Cleft Infant Nutrition Program and through her frequent visits, Damien's health was maintained.
Zoila then arranged for Abelina and Damien to attend PfS's September rural triage mission -- where he was seen by Dr. Lawrence Coleman, a pediatrician from South Carolina and a Board Member of PfS. Dr. Coleman confirmed that Damien was healthy enough for surgery and, with Zoila's assistance, Damien was seen by the Smiles for Guatemala surgical team in November. He received his cleft repair on November 6th and will remain in the Nutrition program until next year, when he will return for cleft palate surgery.
Damien is now six months old and an accepted member of his family.
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