Project Hope's diabetes program implemented in Mexico

CLARKE COUNTY, Va. - Project Hope, a global health organization based in Clarke County, has received a grant from AT&T to implement its program called “5 steps to self-care,” in Mexico. The program educates people with diabetes about how they can improve their quality of life.

The nonprofit said there are nine million people with the disease in Mexico, and it's one of the top two causes of death in the country.

“[The program] motivates and empowers patients to self manage and better control their diabetes and adopt healthy lifestyles," said Katie Kowalski, senior program officer for Project Hope’s global health division.

Project Hope is partnering with Ser Bien, a nonprofit in Mexico to make this happen. It said the training begins with health care workers.

"Once they receive their training, they then replicate these 12 sessions in their clinics," said Courtney Guthreau, founder of Ser Bien.

The "5 steps to self-care” are education, nutrition, exercise, health services and knowing your numbers.

"Numbers like your blood pressure, your glucose level, your body mass index," Kowalski said.

Project Hope said one of the most unique things about the program is that it incorporates several different games to make it more fun and interactive for participants.

"When the grant is over, these health workers and their doctors, nurses and outreach workers, they're actually able to continue to offer better services for the years to come," Guthreau said.

Ser Bien said it's training health care workers through the 10 month program at 18 different primary care clinics in Mexico.

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