Health Surveillance and Disease Prevention and Control / Chronic Diseases / CARMEN

First Round of Community Cardiovascular Health Promoters Receives Diplomas

(INCAP, Guatemala City, Guatemala, 26 June 2008)


Background for the Guatemalan Project: see the Visit to the PAHO-NHLBI Project in Mixco, Guatemala


PACI Projects in Other Countries
- Argentina: Guardacorazón (under PROPIA / Programa de Prevención del Infarto en la Argentina, Program to Prevent Heart Attacks in Argentina)
- Chillán Viejo, Chile: Chillanvejanos cuidan su corazón a través de estilos de vida saludable (Residents of Chillán Viejo care for their heart through healthy lifestyles): see news brief in Spanish on international award, Chillán Viejo gana Proyecto Internacional
- United States: Your Heart, Your Life (in Spanish, Su corazón, su vida

PAHO Links
Chronic Disease Newsletter- CARMEN
- Chronic Disease Newsletter
- Cardiovascular Diseases
- Chronic Disease Activities
- Institute of Nutrition of Central America and Panama (INCAP)

WHO Links
- Chronic Diseases


Promoting cardiovascular health in Guatemala INCAP

On 26 June 2008, at the Institute of Nutrition of Central America and Panama (INCAP) in Guatemala City, the first round of cardiovascular health promoters graduated the course jointly sponsored by PAHO, the Ministry of Health and Social Assistance (Ministerio de Salud y Asistencia Social / MSPAS), and the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute of the United States (NHLBI), under the umbrella of the Pan American Cardiovascular Initiative (PACI). Among those participating was Dr. Eusebio del Cid Peral, minister of health and public assistance (see photos) and Dr. Erika Stolz, ministry healthcare program director.

The country now has 29 cardiovascular health promoters who have graduated from the first round of certification courses offered by the ministry's National Program for Chronic Noncommunicable Diseases or CNCDs (Programa Nacional de Enfermedades Crónicas No Transmisibles) and who are now trained in education, prevention, and timely detection of cardiovascular diseases.

The course began with volunteers from communities in Mixco who were trained over a six-month period on risk factors and prevention of cardiovascular diseases (CVDs). Today, each and every one of them can provide guidance to their communities in how to adopt healthier lifestyles. They are also qualified to detect disease and make referrals to health centers to those needing care for hypertension, overweight, obesity, and high blood sugar levels.

Guatemalan promoters receive diplomas

Dr. Eusebio del Cid Peralta, minister of health and social assistance, awards diplomas to volunteers to certify them as cardiovascular health promoters.

the 29 newly trained CVD health promoters in Guatemala, with the minister of health

The 29 cardiovascular health promoters who graduated from the first round of courses from the ministry's National CNCD Program, with the minister of health.

Among the strategies that the newly qualified promoters are putting into practice, is visiting groups of neighbors and parents of schoolchildren enrolled in Mixco schools, to provide them with information on CVD prevention. They will encourage physical activity, health eating, saying "no" to tobacco, and awareness of the importance of maintaining a healthy weight.

This graduation was part of the "Healthy Happy Heart" (Corazón sano y feliz) project of the Community Initiatives to Prevent and Control CVDS (Intervenciones comunitarias para la prevención y control de las enfermedades cardiovasculares) being carried out jointly with APRECOR, a Guatemalan NGO. See above left for a list of ongoing PACI projects in other countries.