The Peru COHESION team travelled to the communities of Pingola and Sicacate on October 28th and 29th, to hold a second set of co-creation meetings with community members and to discuss interventions with local health workers.

Dates and times had been previously agreed with community authorities to ensure maximum participation. To promote the meetings, invitation letters were distributed in the communities and public announcements were aired in the local community loudspeakers. In both sites, the communities arranged for an appropriate space to hold the meetings, a secondary school and a community auditorium were prepared.

Unlike the first round of co-creation meetings, this time the participants were mostly female which shows that we need to design strategies to involve men in health-related activities. The number of participants ranged from 18 in Sicacate to 36 in Pingola.

The meetings lasted around two hours, during this time participants were presented with seven potential interventions and were asked to select in groups the three interventions they liked the most and considered more important for their communities, and the three they thought were not so important. Using coloured paper, during the discussions they classified the interventions in two groups: “Most Important” and “Less Important”, and provided the reasons behind each selection.

The COHESION team was careful to emphasize that the project still does not know whether funding will be provided for any of the potential interventions, but that the participants’ inputs were important to design the best possible activities for their communities. Some persons expressed their gratitude and a health worker said: “I feel that I am part of this project and I feel happy about that”. The meetings ended with participants and COHESION members enjoying a delicious lunch together.