2019 is underway and we have wasted no time in working with communities and growing our outreach along the coast. We opened up the month with some more chlorine charla training sessions with health workers in the hospital in Portobelo. Our efforts in Miramar have led to four charlas being done by the staff for patients. We also did a charla at the MINSA (Ministry of Health) clinic in Portobelo, which united clinic directors from other communities such as San Antonio, Cacique and La Guaira. Now we have trained health staff in five communities throughout Costa Arriba: Portobelo, Miramar, San Antonio, Cacique, and La Guaira. On January 22nd we had a meeting with the Nombre de Dios community to discuss the water problem that has plagued the town for so long. All these activities in January reflect our effort to not only unite ourselves with communities in order to help them, but to also unite the very people within the community.
In the Portobelo hospital we gave a charla to the two parts of the staff in the hospital, the medical staff and the administrative staff. It was important that both sectors of the staff showed up so that the whole hospital staff would be informed and able to give the charla to patients. Because of this I had to give the charla on two different days so as not to interfere with the entire function of the hospital. In total I trained 22 staff members in the hospital. Since this is the only major hospital in the region, I am hoping that the chlorine charla will reach that many more people and teach them the importance of treating their water at home.
In Miramar the nurses have been hard at work. The nine trained staff members have now given the charla to 40 patients in three charlas that have been recorded by Future Scientist. They recently asked for more pipettes and pamphlets to hand out, which indicates interest in the communities where the patients come from. We are hoping for more charla success from medical staff in Miramar, where they have been the first in receiving and implementing our Clean Water Access Initiative.
When I was coordinating the charla for the MINSA clinic in Portobelo with Dr. Miranda, he mentioned that at the end of the month the directors of the other clinics would all meet. I saw this as an opportunity to kill many birds with one stone. The directors of the clinics in Cacique, La Guaira and San Antonio were going to attend a meeting in the Portobelo clinic and the plan was to train all the directors so that they gave the charlas in their respective clinics and trained their staff. Just as planned, the directors came and received the charla and I gave them all kits to begin giving the charla to their patients. This saved me a bunch of time and travel and I was able to extend our chlorine charla network four-fold in one fell swoop.
In total 46 staff members have been trained to give the chlorine charla and the six health centers supplied with materials. We will be on the lookout for more clinics to connect with in order to keep spreading the chlorine charla throughout the region to ensure that people receive the education necessary to treat the water in their homes and prevent water borne disease. As we move forward I will continue collecting charla data from the clinics we already have active. I am proud that we have created a education network that is already starting to bear fruit and we are reaching more people than we ever thought possible. Education really is power.