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Summer is for Resilience

Author: Alfonso Pedrosa
Published Date: 31 July 2013

In the small andalusian village of El Madroño, the local community has developed initiatives in health self-management training, aimed specifically at informal carers, women, youth and the elderly in rural areas. That’s the Health and Rural Community Project. After the first year of University Extension Course on Health and Rural Community, held last fall, the people is in the process of metabolism of everything learned through deliberation among equals.

Through various working sessions, the community has decided to advance the continuity of health and educational events during the summer (vacation time, return to the people of those working in the city) and have already held two practical meetings.

The first focused on training citizens in cardiopulmonary resuscitation techniques, using the start of the season in the local pool and the public use of their facilities. Mari Lo, nurse, led these sessions; in addition, Emilio, a retired cardiologist, offered basic information on the hydrocution and the dangers of heat stroke.

The second meeting focused on the public health system performance in Andalusia and was attended by Alvaro, managing director Healthcare District which includes health services of this community. Alvaro had an intense conversation with citizens about the viability the public health system in times of economic crisis and the need for citizen empowerment in the open government of public institutions.

In all of these there are two essential elements that have allowed its operation: the increasing awareness of the community about the need to build knowledge from reliable information; and collaboration, formal and informal, of individuals, organizations and groups committed to social innovation in health, as Guadalinfo, Spanish Society of Rural Pharmacy (Sefar), Andalusian Health Service and Team Synaptica.

Now, the community is already preparing some training meetings for next fall linked to their specific health needs.