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Revista Costarricense de Salud Pública

Print version ISSN 1409-1429


HERNANDEZ MONTOYA, Walter Ismael. Training of volunteers as cardiovascular health communal promoter s in the program Cartago gives life to the hear t: 10 year s of experience. CARMEN1-Costa Rica initiative demonstration area. Rev. costarric. salud pública [online]. 2019, vol.28, n.2, pp.192-198. ISSN 1409-1429.


Publish the methodology and the results of the cardiovascular health promoters training in the Program Cartago da vida al corazón" (Catago gives life to the heart").


Cardiovascular disease is the first health problem in a large number of Latin American countries. This disease have a behavioral origin rather than biological and initiate in a large proportion because of inappropriate life styles in the population. The control of this disease is performed using individual strategies for cases and population strategies for groups in risk. Community participation in its own cardiovascular health production is a strategy that has shown having a better impact than individual interventions. Based on the idea of Educadores Comunitarios de Salud (ECOS), Health Community Teachers, promoted by the Ministry of Health, a strategy was adopted and validated for promoting cardiovascular health in the communities-of-Cartago-city.


Candidates were identificated and motivated. They were trained for a minimum of 90 hours about basic knowledge related to cardiovascular risk factors, its measurement and educative techniques. It was conducted practical activities with the group being trained and they were given minimum required elements so they can plan their actions, prepare simple comunal projects and evaluate their work. Trained promoters were monitored about their activities in the community and were updated about their knowledge and useful practices for their actions.


Six training courses were conducted with the attendance of 94 volunteers from which 50 are still active. Some of they conduct activities like educate community groups, others have groups for physical exercising and most of them participate in the program conducting cardiovascular health promotion community workshops. Out of those that were evaluated, 100% have modified at least one risk factor, 87% have modified two factors, 76% modified three factors, 52% four factors and 32% five factors ore more.


It is well theorized that health will be produced better when community participation in the health programs is active and continuous. However, this have always been a problema because of the scarce participation. This Project started from the hypothesis that participation and action are improved by giving to the volunteers the following elements: motivation, training, functional independence, monitoring and evaluation. It is pursued to empower volunteers about the cardiovascular problem and its risk factors in their communities and to achieve that they develop risk intervention actions by their own initiative. Those that are working are doing well, the fault has been the monitoring and the remotivation since it has not been conducted as it was originally proposed.

Keywords : health promotion; cardiovascular health promotion; voluntary communal promoters..

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