We recently implemented our first Advanced Training in Nutrition with a Community Health Worker (CHW) team in El Salvador. A primary part of the training was providing the CHWs with glucometers to aid in diabetes screening and diagnoses in their community. While much of our training focuses on preventing illness and disease, there is a great need to increase diagnostic capabilities in communities around the world.
Dr. Daniel Bausch is the Director of Emerging Threats and Global Health Security at FIND, the global alliance for diagnostics. In an article, written by Nurith Aizenman, Bausch explains that “Most of the people in the world who are sick or dying of something don’t actually know what they have…And it’s not only these – if you will – ‘exotic’ viruses like Ebola and Marburg and Lassa,” for which the diagnostic options are not particularly good.¹ “Most people don’t know if they have tuberculosis or diabetes or hypertension,” he says. “The diagnostic gap, especially at the primary health-care level in low income countries, is huge.
Our Advanced Nutrition Training was created to bridge this diagnostic gap. Bausch continues, “If you look at how many people who have diabetes, know that they have diabetes – it’s less than 50% in many low- and middle-income countries.” With such limited access to diagnostic measures, providing our CHWs with glucometers can allow the communities of El Sunza and El Amate, El Salvador to have diabetes diagnostic abilities available directly to them. We are so excited to continue implementing our Advanced Nutrition Training in our other CHW groups in order to continue providing them with health knowledge and the ability to prevent, diagnose, and treat different diseases.