Assessing Health Needs in El Salvador

Jaimee Arroyo, along with Ninfa Parker, travel this week to accomplish health care objectives in El Salvador. Jaimee Arroyo is a board-certified Family Nurse Practitioner who runs Hopewell Family Care. She’s spent the last five years learning, practicing, and developing her expertise in health care, finishing her Masters of Nursing Science in May 2014. She has undertaken this considerable task with the hope of using her knowledge to help the people in El Salvador. This trip will be a first step in realizing that hope.

Jaimee’s experience will allow her to assess the health issues in the the area where we work in El Salvador. In order to better gauge the needs of our neighbors, she will be running a series of health assessments, which will  help her gather information on medical history, outward symptoms, and notes on the environment. These assessments are offered as a service to our neighbors, allowing us to attend to immediate health concerns, and they will also be critical in directing our team’s health care efforts in the future.

Jaimee has been working with Clara, a local health provider in the rural area. 

Jaimee trains Lorena on how to take vitals in her area. 

“I don’t want to always be assessing disease,” Jaimee tells me in an interview. “There has to be a team effort to bring health. In some ways, I feel like I’m a litmus test for how we are doing on the preventative side of things.”   Jaimee doesn’t want to treat the same symptoms; she wants to get to the root causes so she never has to treat them in the first place.  She understands that this will require a variety of skills and a long-term strategy. But understanding the situation is a necessary step.

Along with general assessments, Jaimee will also provide health education seminars on topics that are important for the community. We have been able to offer health seminars in the past, and they have been well received. Jaimee and Ninfa know, being mothers themselves, that health is a topic that mothers are especially keen to know more about. Quality health information for mothers is a pressing need. Misinformation is common.

Jaimee will be working along with Ninfa Parker, who will function as an administrative assistant and translator. She will also be working closely with the local health promoter. In some ways, this trip is a start. Though she’s spent time in other parts of Latin America,  this will be Jaimee’s first trip to El Salvador. But, in many ways, the trip is really the culmination of much effort, prayer, and hard work. Jaimee has had El Salvador in her heart throughout her training as a Nurse Practitioner, and it is this heart that she offers above all else.