Saturday, July 23, 2016

Hola Again!!!

                We (Abrania, Jennifer, and I) have been here in Nicaragua for almost seven weeks, and we have completed four of the total six weeks of the previously mentioned Women’s Empowerment internship.

                The research of the Women’s Empowerment internship centers around the rural community of La Danta, La RACCS, Nicaragua which is about a 10-12 hour trip from Managua.  We are specifically interested in the prenatal care practices of pregnant women in the 12 sectors of La Dante including the sectors El Cerro, La Mona, and El Santa Fe. Using Barrier Analysis, a research method created by Tom Davis, we are trying to discover the barriers that hinder women of the community from attending 4 or more prenatal health visits; prenatal care is one of the first steps in helping to prevent infant/maternal mortality. The Barrier Analysis method requires that 90 surveys be completed with 45 being doers of the behavior of interest and 45 being non-doers of the behavior of interest. In the past 2 visits to La Danta we were able to obtain two thirds of the needed total through hiking to the homes of all three sectors, going to schools, and having health stations.

                Another goal of the Women’s Empowerment internship is to decrease infant and maternal mortality through empowerment of the women of the community. The past week in the community featured two levels of the empowerment through trainings. We had a one-day training for the general women of the community that featured education about nutrition and prevention/combating anemia. The other training (2 days) was for a group of women that volunteer to help improve the health of the pregnant women and other mothers of the community; the group of women have the title of “madres voluntarias.”

 We are currently preparing for the fifth week which will be spent in the campo* (La Danta). As this is the third and final week that we will spend in the campo, we will strive to complete the research and trainings that we started during our previous weeks in the community. We are exactly on schedule with the amount of Barrier Analysis surveys that we need to have conducted, so I am pretty hopeful that we will be able to obtain the remaining third (30 surveys) during the upcoming week.

In closing, I am super excited to say that I have really been enjoying the internship. The time that we spend in the campo is challenging, but it also allows us to better understand the barriers that the women of the community face on a daily basis. The final two weeks will be both amazing and bittersweet.

Hasta la proxima vez,

Kayla Somerville

*campo means countryside or rural area in spanish

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