AYNI has always taken an active role in the lives of the people of Alto de los Mores. The health concerns within the community are imminent and are of great concern. Many children are undernourished and as a result have other related ailments. Children often have colds, flu’s, fever, diarrhea, ear problems, parasites, dermatological infections and dental problems.
Adults and parents are too, plagued with illnesses stemming from undernourishment and related illnesses as a result of lack of education in terms of preventative care & nutrition, access to doctors and medicine in general. The lack of funds to eat properly and or even buy medicine is detrimental. Even if one had medical insurance (most children now do, but most adults do not), the insurance itself is limited and rarely includes anything other than an initial consultation.
There is a great need for emergency or medical intervention, workshops on preventative measures, education on general hygiene and nutrition, access to medicine and doctors, and assistance to get parents to register themselves and their children for insurance.
AYNI plays both a monitory role and acts as an advocate in these situations. Essentially, if AYNI sees a sick child, we encourage parents to take their children to the medical clinic. Should they not have the necessary insurance we will support the family to get this completed. (Often times they are intimidated by filling out an application, many are illiterate, others lack I.D. etc.)
AYNI initiated an ongoing campaign to register all families and children at the local clinic, so that they may all benefit from this available treatment. Most families are now registered. This means that they can see a doctor free of cost, however apart from the consultation, everything else costs money, including almost all medicine, x-rays, blood tests etc. In cases where parents are unable to accompany a child to a Doctor, volunteers will take the child to get treatment. As a preventative measure AYNI also hosts several workshops on a variety of issues, including, nutrition, hygiene, maternal health, family planning, first aid, domestic violence etc.
In other areas that AYNI can offer assistance in, are those suffering from spousal or child abuse. AYNI has intervened in terms of speaking with abused women / children directly and discreetly to offer them help, and only on two occasions AYNI intervened by connecting them to police &/or the comisora (municipalities social workers), as well as spoke the fathers/ husbands involved.
Overall, AYNI volunteers act as the immediate link between the community and other agencies and organizations including government groups, psychiatrists, doctors, physical therapists, police, lawyers, etc.