‘Promotoras’ Educates Peninsula Latinas About Reproductive Health
Planned Parenthood Golden Gate has launched a program that sends Spanish-speaking women into Latino neighborhoods to talk about birth control, cervical cancer and other reproductive health issues, the Sacramento Bee reports. Dian Harrison, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Golden Gate, says that the rate of cervical cancer among Latinas on the Peninsula is three times higher than among non-Hispanic white women, and that Latinas tend to seek prenatal care later in pregnancy. Planned Parenthood officials say that Latinas often do not seek reproductive health care because they are too busy with work or families, cannot afford services, are embarrassed to talk about sex or are afraid that a doctor's visit "will draw attention to their undocumented status." To help educate local Latinas about reproductive health, Planned Parenthood recruited nine Spanish-speaking women to launch its Promotoras program in San Mateo, East Palo Alto, Redwood City and the Mission District of San Francisco. Armed with "diagrams of the human body, medical props and plenty of condoms," educators conduct informal discussions with groups of women in apartment buildings, community centers, parks, hair salons and laundromats. Educators are not health experts but are instead people who have already worked or volunteered in the neighborhoods and who are known by local residents. Approximately 2,500 women have attended Promotoras talks so far, but program directors say it is too soon to tell if the program has been successful. However, Planned Parenthood officials say that they hope to expand the program to Vietnamese and Filipino communities in the future (Miller, Sacramento Bee, 12/3).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.