Let's Talk about Communitary Health!

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Let's Talk about Communitary Health! Let's Talk about Communitary Health! Melissa Castaño

This week we participated in a health workshop at one of our projects in José León Suárez where some of the members of Pacheco Community and two doctors that work in health centers of the outskirts of Buenos Aires, talked about the importance of building the concept of health from our community. 

During this activity the idea was to debate about the role of the small health centers, which in Argentina are located in the neighborhoods, and to understand why it matters to have this places where people from the community can easily go to ask questions, get medical attention and rather than curing illnesses they can prevent them. For this activity the main guests were the locals from José León Suárez, a vulnerable and precarious neighborhood of Buenos Aires.

Here are some of the main ideas that were discussed during this afternoon: 

  • Health shouldn’t be only perceived as a way of keeping our mental and physical well being but also as an autonomous development. As having the freedom to choose a good life style according to everybody’s social condition and the fulfillment of their rights.

  • There’s a misconception in Argentina that the best doctors are the ones who work at the hospital and that the worst ones are the ones that work in the health centers. This couldn’t be further from the truth, since the latter ones see the patients at first to be able to give them a diagnosis and know which specific doctor they should go see at the hospital.

  • Health depends on us, the whole community, but the system has taught us that this is not true. On this matter is where the State needs to contribute.

  • Health is affected by many economic factors such as pollution, not being able to have access to a good diet, clean water and a normal sewage system. This is something that many villas, or vulnerable neighbors, lack of in the country.

  • Health centers shouldn’t be conceived as places where people enter sick and leave completely cured, there is something about their work that is way more important for the community.

  • There is a huge necessity in the Argentinian health system to include social phenomenons such as substance addiction, violence and abuse to the health programs of doctors and hospitals and to realize that this are illnesses too that need to be taken care of.

  • There also needs to be a pluralist social view about topics such as migration, diversity and gender equality since these areas are part of modern society and also of the Argentinian culture.

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