Community Health Promoters (CHPs) are the lifeblood of a successful effort in community development. If empowered to become knowledgeable and active participants, CHPs can become a permanent fixture for change in their communities. Thanks to a generous grant from AMA Insurance as part of the 2014 Global Health Challenge contest, and in collaboration with the contest winning team, MedMujeres, and John Hopkins School of Public Health, a curriculum to train the community health promoters of Napo, Ecuador was created in 2016.

Timmy Global Health, an Indianapolis-based global nonprofit that expands access to healthcare and empowers students and volunteers to tackle today’s most pressing global health challenges, has been working in the Napo province of Ecuador for more than five years.  At Timmy, we believe all people, regardless of who they are, what resources they have, and where they live, should have access to quality healthcare. Timmy strives to make this vision a reality by strengthening the capacity of local health systems through short-term medical service programs and long-term health solutions like training CHPs to support our ongoing continuum of care and referral system.

Timmy serves 19 distinct areas in the Amazon basin of Ecuador. Comprised largely of the indigenous and ethnic-minority Kichwa peoples, members of Timmy communities live at or below poverty levels. Many struggle to provide basic health resources to their families and access to the nearest quality healthcare is up to 8 hours away. Of the 80-120 residents, each community has identified 2-3 passionate leaders committed to improving the lives of their neighbors. Currently, community leaders couple with Timmy to facilitate 9 annual short term medical service trips.

Timmy staff and leaders in the Napo province had the pleasure of working with AMA and MedMujeres to build a Community Health Promoter training curriculum. Focusing on needs specific to the area, the training is broken into several stages. In addition to basic first aid, the CHPs will be certified with courses on nutrition, diabetes, hypertension, women’s health, and stress management, among others. Timmy is currently in the process of mobilizing resources and leaders and is excited to begin implementing the curriculum in early 2017. The training will be led by a specialized nurse from the Napo province and implemented over the course of four months. Timmy and the community leaders are thrilled to utilize the curriculum to better the lives of the people of the Amazon.

-Alexandra Yost
International Program Manager, Ecuador
Timmy Global Health