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Story 1 Brenda Onsang

Story 2 Juan Barrera

Story 3  Angela Robleto

Story 4  Elba Dina Ochoa

Story 5 Marcos Padilla

Story 6 Esteban Sánchez


 Collaboratively Empowering The Health Care System - Angela Robleto & Acción Médica Cristiana
By Alex Devoid

Angela Robleto lives in the town and department of Rosita in the North Atlantic Autonomous Region (RAAN) of Nicaragua.  She has been a nurse for 20 years and has worked in coordination with Acción Médica Cristiana (AMC) for the last 5 years.  The RAAN is among the country’spoorest regions.Its remote conditions complicate the availability of health care.  Road conditions attribute to lack of communication between communities and the government’s Ministry of Health (MINSA).
AMC works with MINSA in five departments of the RAAN to improve the health care system.  Their current project “Health for All – Strengthening the RAAN Health Model”funded by Horizont3000 and the European Union strengthens the articulation between the official health system and the community health system run by health volunteers. AMC coordinatesencounters of MINSA, and community health leaders.AMC and MINSA staff, likeAngela, travel to communities by truck, horseback, and on foot to hold health promotion meetings and help organize the flow of information and referrals between the two health systems.AMC also facilitates medical workshops held at the hospital in Rosita where together MINSA and AMC train community health leaders in primary care themes and techniques.
Together AMC and MINSA teach many kinds of leaders about many different health topics.  Angela says, “I have participated in manyencounters with AMC.  We have shared sexual and reproductive health information with young people where we visited communities and taught about drugs, sexual transmitted diseases and promoted youth leadership.”  She continues, “We have talked with women community leaders addressing the topics of teenagepregnancy, family planning and maternal deaths.  We have also met with the municipality’s commission of health about community hygiene laws.” 
AMC and MINSA train midwives, traditional medicine practitioners, and other health leaders.Health leadershave improved capacity to provide a service for their community.  Angela states, “There is a more empowerment that strengthens the leaders’knowledge.  They have a better understanding of how to attend their patients.  This has improved because of the educational workshops. The leaders arrive on time to meetings and make sacrifices and feel capable of fulfilling their responsibilities.  Their self-esteem is higher.”  The community members are more health conscious as a result.  She says, “Thepeople listen.  For example, they keep their yards clean to avoid illness like malaria.”
By teachingworkshops and holding meetingsAngelabetter understands about the communities’ needs.  She says, “The work we do with AMC helps to increase my understanding and knowledge.”  Angela concludes, “There is better communication between the community, the health leaders, and the hospital.”  More active communication provides MINSA with information on current health needsat the local level and keeps the community informed on illness prevention and services provided by MINSA.  An effective healthcare system requires a health conscious population and socially conscious healthcare providers.  AMC’s facilitation unifies the healthcare system and empowers its members to educate one another and work more collaboratively for the benefit of the population.

Alex Devoid was assigned to AMC as a Mission Intern of the United Methodist Church from August 2011 to January 2013. He spent several months in the RAAN interviewing and documenting stories to demonstrate the human impact of AMC's work. Link to more stories in left menu   Read Alex's missionary biography and his blog.