Promotores for pandemic influenza

El Paso is training promotores and community health workers to provide pandemic influenza education for the Hispanic/Latino community in El Paso, Texas. The practice includes both an educational process to expand a culturally sensitive healthcare workforce and the materials used to augment this process. The use of specialized roles is an enterprising way to reach people who may not be reached by mainstream public health efforts, lack healthcare services, have limited or no English-language skills, or be reluctant to interact with authorities. Many of the materials encourage personal preparedness through recommendations and checklists in English and Spanish, and one helpful brochure assists people in stocking up emergency supplies over 19 weeks. The materials on coping strategies for children are broadly applicable to any disaster, yet they may be relevant to a pandemic situation as well. This practice should be considered chiefly for the process it uses to access an underserved community. Promotores and community health workers have been used for a wide range of public health activities, and applying their skills and experience to pandemic preparedness is a logical action for jurisdictions that wish to increase outreach to their Hispanic communities.

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