Open Journal of Social Sciences

Volume 4, Issue 10 (October 2016)

ISSN Print: 2327-5952   ISSN Online: 2327-5960

Google-based Impact Factor: 0.93  Citations  

Developing a Network of Community Health Workers: Improving the Lives of Migrant Farmworkers

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DOI: 10.4236/jss.2016.410011    1,262 Downloads   2,116 Views   Citations


One of the main strengths of today’s global food system is the labor force. Within emergent countries, farmworkers are an important element of competitiveness. However, food production that frequently stands in developed countries family tables rests upon the usually precarious living and health conditions of farmworkers, especially those that should migrate from regions that are far from the agribusiness where they work and live most of the year. Furthermore, healthcare becomes a challenging task because of cultural, socioeconomic and ethnic barriers. The aim of this study was to develop and evaluate a Community Health Worker (CHW) training model among agricultural Mexican migrant farmworkers, focusing on strengthening a health prevention environment conducive to improve health. This was a qualitative action-driven research carried out in southern Mexico communities as well as at northwest Mexico agribusiness. The project was implemented in four stages: needs assessment, curriculum design, training and implementation and process evaluation. The socioecological model guided our methodological and analytical process; we followed a Community Based Participatory Approach (CBPA) to interview and train a network of 40 CHW. Results showed that CHW’s main health priorities were dehydration and heat stroke, respiratory infections, gastrointestinal infections, work accidents, hygiene, nutrition, as well as mental health including substance abuse and depression. Training evaluation 1) improved communication between middle management and migrant farmworkers, as well as between middle management and farm administrators, 2) increased middle management consciousness about farmworkers health needs and responsibility, and 3) increased awareness about how improving the environment could help prevent diseases.

Cite this paper

Ortega-Vélez, M. , Rosales, C. , Gallegos, P. , Paniagua, A. , Valdez, L. and Zapien, J. (2016) Developing a Network of Community Health Workers: Improving the Lives of Migrant Farmworkers. Open Journal of Social Sciences, 4, 140-154. doi: 10.4236/jss.2016.410011.

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