El programa de Salud Rural de la Fundación Baylor Argentina permite acercar los servicios básicos de Salud a cada una de las familias que viven en comunidades distantes y con difícil acceso a los centros de salud. Desde 2018, gracias al aporte de nuestro socio fundador Chevron e YPF, ya se realizaron 260 consultas médicas con el objetivo de mejorar la salud de esta población a través de la promoción y prevención.
Osvaldo, the ride, the cold and offering health to post holders
Many stories told by health agents in small locations in Neuquén share features. The thing is that Osvaldo Muñoz, health agent at Aguada San Roque, was born and raised at the post and know the reality of post holders in person.
Around the ’80s, the location of Aguada San Roque started to grow around the first school. That was the school Osvaldo went to and where he completed primary school studies. “Everyone came from farms to the school, it was not yet a small location. There were two or three houses next to the school, farmers who came to live next to the said school,” Muñoz tells. With time, those 2 or three houses multiplied and originated what Aguada San Roque is today, located some 65 km from Añelo and 165 km from the capital city of Neuquén.
Osvaldo was born in a family of post holders, in a post located two km from the town. Although he could finish primary school, secondary school was a different story, more complex. “We had to take care of the animals,” he tells.
When he became an adult, Osvaldo decided to go to work and live on his own. He lived in Añelo, and he did everything he could. But he came back, and he started to work at the local Government in Aguada San Roque and, soon after, he was offered the possibility to be a Health Agent.
“I talked a lot to post-holders and that gave me this possibility. When I got the offer, I really liked the idea because it really helps you connect to people, which I like a lot,” he tells. And he adds: “I love my job, I wouldn’t change it. Connecting with people is unbelievable, you know their lives, they tell you, you can be there for them, it’s a good thing”.
The Rural Health Program of Fundación Baylor Argentina allows providing basic health services to each family living in a remote community and with difficult access to health centers. Since 2018, thanks to the contribution of our founding partner Chevron and YPF, there were 260 medical consultations aimed to improving population’s health through promotion and prevention.
To be a health agent in locations in the interior of the country also implies a physical effort to travel dozens of kilometers separating each post. In Osvaldo’s case, these journeys have been on his motorbike for over 10 years. “Summers are easier, but winters can be tough. At first, I thought I would never stop riding, but now my body feels it,” he tells. Besides the cold, sometimes the motorbike breaks down in the middle of nowhere without signal to ask for help. “You’re there, in the middle of nowhere and you have to get to a place where there is signal so that someone can come to help,” he remarks.
In this context, Osvaldo points the arrival of Fundación Baylor Argentina, through different health programs in the area of Añelo and surrounding areas. “I can only thank Baylor. They are always ready to give a hand, everybody. There’s never an excuse,” he says. And he adds: “It was a great solution for us. In the past, we had no specialists, only general doctors. Post holders always ask when the doctors are coming to visit the posts, in particular, the pneumonologist. I hope Baylor can stay working with us, because they’ve become essential. I hope they can stay forever,” he concluded.