The Health Promoters (promotoras) in Palomas are now at the center of the local response to the COVID-19 virus. They work with the Palomas Health Center and government officials to soften the potential impact of the virus. The goal is to mitigate its spread.
The health promoters (promotoras‘) training and experience prompted the project supervisor of the Paso del Norte Health Foundation to recommend their service in the fight of COVID-19. Thus, the Palomas Health Center engaged promotoras’ help and support during the COVID-19 contingency.
Promotoras work three hour shifts on days they can assist this effort. As part of their normal activity, they monitor temperatures of older adults in the Border Partners’ senior citizen program and of those who visit the office.
But, in addition to their normal duties, the promotoras are screening people as they enter Mexico. Working with the Palomas police, the promotoras survey all border crossers. They check for anyone with elevated temperatures. Their presence supports the government health truck stationed immediately inside the Mexican border.
Any Mexican resident who registers a fever is placed on a two week quarantine. Border crossers from the United States who register a fever are turned back. Promotoras advise border crossers who present with any virus symptoms during the last seven days to self-quarantine at home for 14 days. They advise anyone who develops active symptoms to call 911 in their home community and follow local instructions.
The promoters provide prevention information for COVID-19 on their Facebook page. They meet with concerned people in their office, at the local health clinic. They respond to phone calls of residents who request information as well. The importance of social distancing and washing hands is their key focus.
Another component of the promotoras work is the delivery of food boxes. Twenty particularly needy families were identified as extremely food insecure. The promotoras deliver supplemental food allocations. In addition, they continue to deliver meals and monitor the health of many Palomas senior citizens. We’ll will write more about these activities in our next website post, coming soon.