It all started when HHI recognized the need to make the connection between good health and emotional wellbeing. It needed to be done in a way that empowered each individual to see how they can begin to take control of their own health, with the help of local health care.
Because of this, in the month of August, Health Horizons International had a specific goal in respect to our project that is supported by the World Diabetes Foundation. We were focused on hosting a three day refresher course for 24 nurses from 22 primary health care levels in Puerto Plata. It was a great success.
We call this capacity building, as it helps to increase the reach and effectiveness of health care through partnership with the local network.
However, as we all know here in Dominican Republic, training is much more impactful when it’s fun, interactive and memorable.
During the three days of training, our training team covered topics such as the nurse’s role in the continual pursuit of better diabetes response and treatment. We also looked at risk factors, healthy eating, physical activity, and diabetes drug treatments. It was a very full three days!
However, one particular focus was on a special strategy that we have developed in Health Horizons International around the organization of unique support groups. These groups provide empowerment in diabetes and/or hypertensive education. The initiative is called “Happy and Healthy” (Sano y Feliz in Spanish) because it provides a unique way to support patients in behavior change through the implementation of support groups.
When people change their behaviors, they can change their outlook and understanding. This is best accomplished through community support.
Thus, this particular nurses’ refresher course focused on giving the nurses inspiration and strategies to implement Sano y Feliz.
Don’t worry, we made it memorable! As you can see by the picture below, they left our time together ready to go back and get started with Sano y Feliz.
Through dramatizations and interactive experiences, the nurses were able to see how to implement Sano y Feliz in their respective areas of work. After our training time together, the nurses now understand how to coordinate between the health center and the community, as well as the criteria the medical doctors need to have a patient participate in the new strategy.
Our goal is to set up 12 Sano y Feliz support groups within 12 primary health care centers in Puerto Plata.