In 2013, under the terms of the convenio, or contract with the Ministry of Health, we instituted Equipos de Atención Primarias, or EAPs, for every 5,000 people in the community. These are three-person community health teams consisting of a doctor, nurse, and health promoter.
Each day, an EAP team interacts with a community, traveling house to house to provide home health care and health and nutrition education. The health promoters identify at-risk individuals who cannot reach the health centers, have missed follow-ups, or have special needs and bring the EAP to the home.
Although there have been tremendous advances in transportation in Intibucá over the last twenty years, many of our communities remain accessible only by foot or moto. It is difficult, cost-prohibitive, or physically impossible for some members of our community to reach our clinics and health centers. Instead, we bring the care to them.
In one week in February, our EAP teams were able to identify, reach, and bring four pregnant women to our clinic.
Patient One has eight children. Each of her other children were delivered at home. She gave birth to a healthy boy at the Santa Lucia clinic less than a week after our EAPs made contact with her.
Prior to our visit, Patient Two had not received any pre-natal care, including labs or ultrasounds. We provide these services free of charge and will continue to monitor her throughout her pregnancy.
Patient Three had received limited prenatal care prior to our contact. However, she was diagnosed with possible ovarian cysts and had not come in for lab tests. We drew her labs and continue to monitor her.
Patient Four was at full-term, but had been hiding her pregnancy from the community. She had no prenatal care, was abused by her father because of her pregnancy and was suicidal. We educated the family, brought in Patient Four, and determined she was pre-eclamptic. We drove her to the La Esperanza hospital, and she gave birth to a healthy boy after having to be induced. Our doctors and nurses continued to visit her in the hospital and discuss the situation with her family. Our EAP teams will continue to visit and monitor her and her child.
Because of EAPs, these women are able to receive medical care and ensure their own health, as well as the health of their children.