Thursday, June 17, 2010

Samoan Update

Peace Corps, Jim Metz and Spencer Narron, organizing a village program

Simple tools, like a rare bathroom scale and weight chart,
make for an effective demonstration

The Samoan Peace Corps Volunteers who followed Mary and I and who are finishing their stay within the next few months have exceeded anything I could have ever hoped to achieve in attacking the severe problems of obesity, diabetes, and hypertension. They have gotten funds and are currently putting on programs with the Department of Health in several villages on Savaii, complete with screening, and educational programs on reducing the incidence of these diseases. They even have a skit where Samoans are asked to put on a costume with 20 pounds of rice sewn it to demonstrate how being overweight taxes the body!

Since all new Peace Corps to Samoa are teachers, they too receive training in implementing health programs at the village level, outside of their normal teaching duties. This presents a new and very challenging opportunity for Peace Corps to expand it's reach to a wider population.

A blog has also been established to provide wider exposure to their efforts.

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