Recovery from the devastation of Hurricane Stan and continuing empowerment of community health promoters were the main themes of 2006 at EAPSEC (Equipo de Apoyo en Salud y Educación Comunitaria), a PIH-supported project in Chiapas, Mexico.

Highlights of EAPSEC's activities in 2006 included:

Building a network of community health promoters: In 2006, EAPSEC staff trained 137 health promoters to work in 11 municipalities and 83 communities across four regions of Chiapas, serving an area of approximately 16,900 people.

Providing medical care to hurricane victims: EAPSEC continued to support and staff two additional emergency clinics in Belisario Dominguez and Honduras, two of the communities hardest hit by Hurricane Stan. EAPSEC hopes to continue support for these clinics as long as community needs persist.

Initiating South-South collaborations: Together with Socios En Salud, PIH’s sister organization in Peru, EAPSEC initiated a Chiapas-Peru collaboration to share best practices regarding training of health promoters.  EAPSEC anticipates further collaboration in the coming year.

Community education and outreach: EAPSEC health promoters led a record number of educational community health talks in 2006, on subjects ranging from potable water, hygiene, and construction of sanitary latrines to nutrition and mental health issues.

Assessing community health needs: EAPSEC and PIH continue to share technical and medical expertise to support the health of people in Chiapas. In 2006, EAPSEC hosted Dr. Dan Palazuelos, a resident in the PIH-affiliated Global Health Effectiveness residency at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital, who piloted a community epidemiological survey to evaluate community health needs in Chiapas.

[posted January 2007]