The Year in Photos

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This year, our team of obstetrics nurses attended more than 400 births and provided more than 2,500 obstetrics consultations together with our colleagues at the community hospital in Jaltenango de la Paz. This work is a collaboration between all of the nurses and doctors of the hospital, the doctors and nurses who provide perinatal care in our rural clinics, our  Acompañantes  (community health workers) who visit women and newborns in their homes during pregnancy and after childbirth, and all the traditional midwives who are also a part of this effort to provide quality, dignified care. Thank you all for your support.   Photo: Nurse and Compañeros En Salud clinical supervisor Fabiola Ortiz, views an ultrasound image with patient Blanca in the Casa Materna of the community hospital in Jaltenango de la Paz.

This year, our team of obstetrics nurses attended more than 400 births and provided more than 2,500 obstetrics consultations together with our colleagues at the community hospital in Jaltenango de la Paz. This work is a collaboration between all of the nurses and doctors of the hospital, the doctors and nurses who provide perinatal care in our rural clinics, our Acompañantes (community health workers) who visit women and newborns in their homes during pregnancy and after childbirth, and all the traditional midwives who are also a part of this effort to provide quality, dignified care. Thank you all for your support.

Photo: Nurse and Compañeros En Salud clinical supervisor Fabiola Ortiz, views an ultrasound image with patient Blanca in the Casa Materna of the community hospital in Jaltenango de la Paz.

 
This August, we welcomed the 3rd generation of nursing and obstetrics interns who will carry out their year of social service with Compañeros En Salud. We are proud to have them with us as we strengthen the obstetrics service offered at the Casa Materna and the community hospital in Jaltenango de la Paz. Thanks to this collaboration with the hospital, we’re able to provide safe, respectful and quality care.   In the top row, from left to right: Ittzell Merari Portillo Nuñez, Hilda Maria Vivanco Robles, Fabiola Ortiz (clinical supervisor), Melania Muñoz Ramírez (general nurse), Alma Nayelli Hernández Martínez    In the front row, from left to right: Jazmín Gómez Aguilar (Head of Nursing), Oscar Mejía Hernández, Edith Jazmin Rojas Bautista, Alhelí Susana Sánchez Bello, Daniela Carrasco Chávez and Dr. Dania Citlali Molina Palacios (Director of the community hospital in Jaltenango de la Paz)

This August, we welcomed the 3rd generation of nursing and obstetrics interns who will carry out their year of social service with Compañeros En Salud. We are proud to have them with us as we strengthen the obstetrics service offered at the Casa Materna and the community hospital in Jaltenango de la Paz. Thanks to this collaboration with the hospital, we’re able to provide safe, respectful and quality care.

In the top row, from left to right: Ittzell Merari Portillo Nuñez, Hilda Maria Vivanco Robles, Fabiola Ortiz (clinical supervisor), Melania Muñoz Ramírez (general nurse), Alma Nayelli Hernández Martínez

In the front row, from left to right: Jazmín Gómez Aguilar (Head of Nursing), Oscar Mejía Hernández, Edith Jazmin Rojas Bautista, Alhelí Susana Sánchez Bello, Daniela Carrasco Chávez and Dr. Dania Citlali Molina Palacios (Director of the community hospital in Jaltenango de la Paz)

Scientific advances occur at an unimaginable speed; this does not always translate into better patient care. There is a wide implementation gap in these advances for the most vulnerable populations, who face a serious lag due to socioeconomics. Making these advances accessible is part of our health equity mission to make dignified, quality care a reality for our patients.
— Dr. Mariana Montaña, coordinator of the Maternal Health program
Photo: Dr. Mariana Montaño (right) with newborn baby Ángel and nurse Maria Yaneth López Morales (left), one of the public health system staff who are our colleagues and allies at the community hospital in Jaltenango de la Paz.

Photo: Dr. Mariana Montaño (right) with newborn baby Ángel and nurse Maria Yaneth López Morales (left), one of the public health system staff who are our colleagues and allies at the community hospital in Jaltenango de la Paz.

 
As the year comes to a close, we've wrapped up a series of traditional midwifery gatherings in which 56 traditional birth attendants and midwives from more than 25 communities participated. We coordinated these gatherings to facilitate the exchange of knowledge in order to better serve the women and families of our region, as well as to highlight the important work carried out by traditional birth attendants.   Photo: Nurse and clinical supervisor of Compañeros En Salud, Fabiola Ortiz (right), chats with Doña Margarita Pérez Jiménez, a traditional midwife from a rural community, who frequently collaborates with the Casa Materna.

As the year comes to a close, we've wrapped up a series of traditional midwifery gatherings in which 56 traditional birth attendants and midwives from more than 25 communities participated. We coordinated these gatherings to facilitate the exchange of knowledge in order to better serve the women and families of our region, as well as to highlight the important work carried out by traditional birth attendants.

Photo: Nurse and clinical supervisor of Compañeros En Salud, Fabiola Ortiz (right), chats with Doña Margarita Pérez Jiménez, a traditional midwife from a rural community, who frequently collaborates with the Casa Materna.

 
Our maternal health  Acompañantes  receive training to help disseminate information to patients on topics ranging from breastfeeding (to reduce infant illness and death and improve nutrition) to family planning (to reduce closely-spaced births and high parity, which are associated with maternal morbidity and mortality). Our team helps to link World Health Organization priorities to real-world efforts on the ground to impact lives and improve the health of families in marginalized communities.   Photo:  Acompañante  (community health worker) Eloina Morales Ortiz visits Lydia and her newborn baby girl while  Acompañante -in-training Dalia Esther Roblero Bartolón looks on.

Our maternal health Acompañantes receive training to help disseminate information to patients on topics ranging from breastfeeding (to reduce infant illness and death and improve nutrition) to family planning (to reduce closely-spaced births and high parity, which are associated with maternal morbidity and mortality). Our team helps to link World Health Organization priorities to real-world efforts on the ground to impact lives and improve the health of families in marginalized communities.

Photo: Acompañante (community health worker) Eloina Morales Ortiz visits Lydia and her newborn baby girl while Acompañante-in-training Dalia Esther Roblero Bartolón looks on.

By converting the word accompaniment into a synonym of dedication, love and dedication, you have become not only competent but compassionate health professionals.
— Dr. Jimena Maza, Director of Primary Care
Photo: Dr. Jimena Maza, Director of Primary Care, addresses Compañeros En Salud’s team of  Acompañantes  (community health workers) during a celebration in their honor.

Photo: Dr. Jimena Maza, Director of Primary Care, addresses Compañeros En Salud’s team of Acompañantes (community health workers) during a celebration in their honor.

 
We are proud to present the following study regarding the effectiveness of our team of nearly 100  Acompañantes  (community health workers). These women serve as a vital link between patients and the information, resources and care that they need. We couldn’t feel more proud of this team and all that they do for our patients.   Photo:  Acompañantes  (community health workers) Yadira Roblero (left) and Amada Floriberta Vázquez Cruz (right) practice taking blood pressure during a monthly training in the community of Laguna del Cofre.    Read the study here

We are proud to present the following study regarding the effectiveness of our team of nearly 100 Acompañantes (community health workers). These women serve as a vital link between patients and the information, resources and care that they need. We couldn’t feel more proud of this team and all that they do for our patients.

Photo: Acompañantes (community health workers) Yadira Roblero (left) and Amada Floriberta Vázquez Cruz (right) practice taking blood pressure during a monthly training in the community of Laguna del Cofre.

Read the study here

 
In our children's health program,  Acompañantes  (community health workers) in five communities have been trained to carry out weekly early stimulation sessions with children, which improve their physical and intellectual development, improve the bond between the parents and the child, and also resolve questions that parents have about the care and nutrition of their children.   Photo: During the childhood development and early stimulation course in Jaltenango de la Paz, Verónica Ramírez Torres helps her daughter Regina play a small musical instrument.    Read more

In our children's health program, Acompañantes (community health workers) in five communities have been trained to carry out weekly early stimulation sessions with children, which improve their physical and intellectual development, improve the bond between the parents and the child, and also resolve questions that parents have about the care and nutrition of their children.

Photo: During the childhood development and early stimulation course in Jaltenango de la Paz, Verónica Ramírez Torres helps her daughter Regina play a small musical instrument.

Read more

 

The Health Fair

Each year, there are nearly 1.7 billion cases of childhood diarrheal disease; globally, it is one of the top 3 leading causes of death in children under five years old. Fortunately, in Chiapas, the last decade has seen a more than 40% decrease in the death rate for children under five due to diarrheal disease. Even so, the rate is still nearly 3 times the national rate.  Volunteers from Compañeros En Salud were part of a collaborative team of several organizations that held a Health Fair, an annual event for the children of Jaltenango de la Paz where our office is located. This year, the team taught 150 students on topics of hygiene, parasites, serum and hydration to help in the prevention and treatment of diarrheal diseases.   Photo: At the Health Fair, volunteers from Partners in Health held a workshop on how to wash their hands and food, in a hygienic way, to avoid parasites.    Read more

Each year, there are nearly 1.7 billion cases of childhood diarrheal disease; globally, it is one of the top 3 leading causes of death in children under five years old. Fortunately, in Chiapas, the last decade has seen a more than 40% decrease in the death rate for children under five due to diarrheal disease. Even so, the rate is still nearly 3 times the national rate.

Volunteers from Compañeros En Salud were part of a collaborative team of several organizations that held a Health Fair, an annual event for the children of Jaltenango de la Paz where our office is located. This year, the team taught 150 students on topics of hygiene, parasites, serum and hydration to help in the prevention and treatment of diarrheal diseases.

Photo: At the Health Fair, volunteers from Partners in Health held a workshop on how to wash their hands and food, in a hygienic way, to avoid parasites.

Read more

 

4 por México

During  4 por México , a fundraising campaign to support the work of Compañeros En Salud, a team of four friends dedicated their willpower in each step of four summits in honor of the strength of will that each of our patients shows in their journey to ensure their right to health.   Photo: David Villarreal, Armando Garrido, Fernanda Velázquez and Ana María Galván reach the summit of Iztaccihuatl.    Read more

During 4 por México, a fundraising campaign to support the work of Compañeros En Salud, a team of four friends dedicated their willpower in each step of four summits in honor of the strength of will that each of our patients shows in their journey to ensure their right to health.

Photo: David Villarreal, Armando Garrido, Fernanda Velázquez and Ana María Galván reach the summit of Iztaccihuatl.

Read more

 

La Búsqueda Activa

Medical students from Tecnológico de Monterrey joined us for our biannual  búsqueda activa  (active case finding campaign). With their help, we conducted thousands of door-to-door health surveys to evaluate individuals’ risk factors related to particular health issues (such as asthma, epilepsy, diabetes, hypertension, depression and other mental health problems, malnutrition, and maternal health needs) and connect people to appropriate care.   Photo: Medical student Regina Serrano (center) and Dr. Francisco Guadarrama (right) look for signs of diabetic neuropathy during a home visit with Benicio Pérez Roblero, a patient who lives several hours walking from the nearest clinic. Before being a patient of Compañeros En Salud, Don Benicio lacked access to medical care and adequate medications; his illness had progressed. For participating medical students like Serrano, the  búsqueda activa  is not only a clinical learning experience but also an opportunity to learn firsthand about social medicine and global health.    Read more

Medical students from Tecnológico de Monterrey joined us for our biannual búsqueda activa (active case finding campaign). With their help, we conducted thousands of door-to-door health surveys to evaluate individuals’ risk factors related to particular health issues (such as asthma, epilepsy, diabetes, hypertension, depression and other mental health problems, malnutrition, and maternal health needs) and connect people to appropriate care.

Photo: Medical student Regina Serrano (center) and Dr. Francisco Guadarrama (right) look for signs of diabetic neuropathy during a home visit with Benicio Pérez Roblero, a patient who lives several hours walking from the nearest clinic. Before being a patient of Compañeros En Salud, Don Benicio lacked access to medical care and adequate medications; his illness had progressed. For participating medical students like Serrano, the búsqueda activa is not only a clinical learning experience but also an opportunity to learn firsthand about social medicine and global health.

Read more

 

¡Gracias! to our Volunteers

In 2018, more than 60 volunteers supported Compañeros En Salud in areas ranging from research to logistics to mentorship and training for our clinicians and  Acompañantes  (community health workers). Our work would not be possible without the contribution of their time and talents. From all of us here: thank you for your accompaniment.   Photo: Joanna Krupp (right), who volunteered as our MEQ (monitoring, evaluation and quality) facilitator, takes a blood pressure reading from Don Fidel during a  búsqueda activa  (active case finding campaign) health screening.

In 2018, more than 60 volunteers supported Compañeros En Salud in areas ranging from research to logistics to mentorship and training for our clinicians and Acompañantes (community health workers). Our work would not be possible without the contribution of their time and talents. From all of us here: thank you for your accompaniment.

Photo: Joanna Krupp (right), who volunteered as our MEQ (monitoring, evaluation and quality) facilitator, takes a blood pressure reading from Don Fidel during a búsqueda activa (active case finding campaign) health screening.

Don Fidel and his neighbors—who live an hour’s walk from the the center of their community and several hours from the nearest clinic—are just a few of the people I met in the Sierra who told me they had never seen a doctor before. They are caught in poverty’s tireless cycle: unpaved and ill-maintain roads, no public transportation, high cost services, and the daily need to work at home and in the fields. To ensure equitable care in this context, we go to these communities to visit patients in their homes. We sit with them as they grapple with their diagnoses and come to understand their health in culturally specific ways. For me, this process is about treating people as people, with all the dignity and respect that each individual deserves. I feel privileged to have participated in Compañeros En Salud’s work towards justice and equity.
— Joanna Krupp, MEQ (monitoring, evaluation and quality) volunteer
 

Miradas de la Sierra

Sometimes I feel like this mango. I look good on the outside, but inside I feel bad.
— Gleysi M., 18 years old, participant in the Miradas de la Sierra (Perspective from the Sierra) project.

Compañeros En Salud’s Mental Health team and researchers from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine created the project Miradas de la Sierra (Perspectives from the Sierra) to address the issue of stigma around mental illness in this region of Chiapas.

Read more

 

A Light in the Dark

Well before his second birthday, Ernesto’s parents had known better than to attribute his reluctance to venture far from his mother to mere shyness.  “He started to cry; he was crying a lot,” his mother, Florinda, recounted. “I was holding him almost all the time. Because if I put him down on the floor, he wouldn’t walk; he would just start to cry.”  “Because he was afraid,” Ernesto’s father, Oscar, added.  “He was afraid,” his wife agreed.  But afraid of what? And why? They were right to worry that something was wrong. But any parent of such a young child would have been hard-pressed to guess what the issue would ultimately turn out to be.  As a patient in our Right to Health Care program, Ernesto was able to undergo two surgeries for cataracts, and his vision was successfully restored. Ernesto is one of thousands of patients who have been able to access the care that they need thanks to the efforts of our team, and your support.   Photo: Dr. Francisco Rodríguez introduces Ernesto and his father, Oscar, to the room where Ernesto would receive laser treatments as follow-up care after two successful cataract surgeries.    Read Ernesto’s story

Well before his second birthday, Ernesto’s parents had known better than to attribute his reluctance to venture far from his mother to mere shyness.

“He started to cry; he was crying a lot,” his mother, Florinda, recounted. “I was holding him almost all the time. Because if I put him down on the floor, he wouldn’t walk; he would just start to cry.”

“Because he was afraid,” Ernesto’s father, Oscar, added.

“He was afraid,” his wife agreed.

But afraid of what? And why? They were right to worry that something was wrong. But any parent of such a young child would have been hard-pressed to guess what the issue would ultimately turn out to be.

As a patient in our Right to Health Care program, Ernesto was able to undergo two surgeries for cataracts, and his vision was successfully restored. Ernesto is one of thousands of patients who have been able to access the care that they need thanks to the efforts of our team, and your support.

Photo: Dr. Francisco Rodríguez introduces Ernesto and his father, Oscar, to the room where Ernesto would receive laser treatments as follow-up care after two successful cataract surgeries.

Read Ernesto’s story

We’re really grateful to all of you [...] because just one person, alone, isn’t able to do anything.
— Florinda, mother of Ernesto

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Those who have lived an experience are the most capable of guiding our steps as we walk with them. That’s why we believe in accompaniment, which guides our way as we walk—together, side by side with the communities where we work—towards a just and equitable future.
— Dr. Ariwame Reynoso, Coordinator of the Acompañantes Program
 

Thank you for your accompaniment.

"Lives of service depend on lives of support."

-Tracy Kidder, Mountains Beyond Mountains