The Ines project began when Dr. Wayne Centrone, Executive Director of Health Bridges International (HBI) met a little girl named Ines. She had a life threatening skin disease. She was living in extreme poverty, and despite her mothers best efforts, she was unable to Access appropriate and adequate medical care. Ines is an example of a medically fragile child; these are children with complex medical conditions that need multiple health care providers, specialists, and around the clock care, to assist in daily living. This coordinated care is lifesaving, but much more difficult to access in poverty.
The goal of Ines Project for Medically Fragile Children, named after the first child enrolled into the project, is to improve the health of economically marginalized, medically complex children in the metropolitan area of the city of Lima, Peru. Despite the existence of a health care system that aims to cover children's basic health needs, often the overall care of these children is substandard due to a host of logistical, financial and cultural obstacles. Through advocacy, education, and targeted resource allocation we seek to maximize the patients' appropriate utilization of the existing state health care system.
The Ines Project model uses a team of Health Ambassadors (leaders selected from the local communities of the project), along with a supervising nurse and consulting pediatric physician to identify children needing attention. We then identify the specific deficits in the child's care and aid the family in finding the appropriate solution, usually within the structure of the state sponsored system. The Health Ambassadors have contact with the patients at least weekly. The nurse attends patients as determined by their particular needs. Our goal is not to provide unsustainable direct care, but to affect a re-orientation in each family's situation to promote self-advocacy and effective navigation of the health system.
Learn more about the Ines Project in the following PDF document.
The development of the Ines Project was based on the combined experience of the health care and community workers attempting to affect change for medically complex children. We have been working on this project for approximately 3 years. HBI decided that a more formalized, collaborative approach to the challenge of caring for medically complex children would be appropriate. The Ines Project is designed to improve the quality of life for children and young adults that participate in our program. The program also helps the families gain skills to advocate for the health and needs of their chronically ill children. A big part of our efforts is ensuring the efficacy and validation of our work. In the spring of 2019, we published a report outlining the key findings of the Ines Project. Please see a PDF copy of the report below.
HBI is looking to scale the Ines Project in collaboration with communities around the world. We are seeking partnerships with faith-based, government and civil sector organizations and institutions to implement Ines Projects for marginalized and underserved communities. Learn more about how you can adopt and Ines Project with your organization or in your community, by downloading the following document.