During the weekends of July 21st and 23rd 2017, the COHESION team in Peru visited the communities of Sicacate and Pingola to hold meetings with community members and begin the brainstorming process of future COHESION interventions. Thirty people participated in the Sicacate meeting (22 women, 8 men) and 34 in the meeting in Pingola (20 women, 14 men).
The experience from previous visits to the sites allowed our team members to use effective communication strategies to invite community members and secure participation. During the two weeks preceding the co-creation session, team members made phone calls to community leaders and visited the areas to disseminate information about our activities. This included placing posters in different community settings, broadcasting messages through the local radio station and community loudspeakers, as well as carrying out interpersonal communication activities where health personnel and school teachers invited community members to join our sessions.
Each meeting lasted around two hours and project team members collected suggestions for possible actions around each of the selected diseases. The sessions began with an explanation of the project, followed by information about the diseases. Then group discussions took place to collect suggestions of possible interventions. The suggestions revolved around getting more information about the disease, making diagnostic tests available at the PHC, and providing examples of well-balanced meals and sanitation improvement.
The next meetings will take place in mid-October where the Lima team will return to discuss a subset of potential interventions, from which community members will then make a final selection and discuss the reasons behind their selection.