Dr. Javier is a native of La Cruz de Elota, Sinaloa. He shares with us about his beginnings in the practice of medical attention in a pharmacy; however, when he had the opportunity to work in a farm, he found it interesting.
“I had to learn about farming, Social Responsibility and above all social uses and habits of our people, as most of the people we will be dealing with would be migrants.”
He says that during the 2 years he worked for Agroindustrias Tombell, he had the opportunity to attend many courses on health promotion and prevention, being part of the safety and hygiene committee, being involved in health campaigns, developing improvement projects in shelters and daycare facilities, and of course, improving their skills in disease attention and detection in the farming sector.
Dr. Javier shared that the greatest experiences and learning from his years in practice as a farming doctor started in Wholesum Harvest and Agricultura Controlada (AgriCo).
1.What is the role of a doctor in agriculture?
It is mostly health promotion and prevention, with various activities in which social work is directly involved; participating in health campaigns, talks about health promotion and monitoring children’s health in daycare facilities.
Attention, valuation and treatments of the various pathologies afflicting our collaborators, as well as channeling them to medical specialties.
Coordination with agricultural engineers and packing facility managers; we monitor the health of occupationally exposed workers.
2. What are the main professional challenges you have faced in your job?
Raising awareness amongst the population on preventive measures, breaking the habit on the use of unnecessary antibiotics, learning how to handle disagreements arising in a work team and having personnel under my command.
3.Would you mind telling us how are medical offices equipped in farming companies, and what are the main health care services they provide?
They have proper office furniture, essential medical equipment such as an exploration bed, observation beds and outpatient procedures, sterilizer for surgical supplies, oxygen tanks, nebulization equipment, a well-stocked pharmacy and a collection service for HBIW (Hazardous Biological Infectious Waste), among others.
General medical consultation, blood pressure check-up, and capillary glucose measurement, weight and size evaluation, stitches for minor injuries, IV-line hydration; we have anti-venom antidotes for arthropods and snakes, maternity control, birth control, chronic disease control, emergency valuation and channeling, channeling to medical specialties, channeling to labs and imaging areas, channeling to dentistry, vaccination campaigns for children in daycare facilities and overall population, daily tour around the daycare facilities to detect children with medical conditions, clinical evaluation to new-entry personnel into the packaging area with issuance of a medical certificate, health promotion talks in shelters and daycare facilities, involvement in health fairs, valuation in applicators of agrochemicals, monitoring to occupationally exposed personnel in the various field activities and packaging.
4. What are the main health prevention and promotion actions developed by Agroindustrias Tombell and what are the benefits these have brought to the company?
A work program is implemented on a weekly basis, which includes medical attention and guidance, talks to the overall population and daycare facilities on various health areas, vaccination campaigns, fumigation campaigns against pests, continuous training for key personnel within the facilities, daily tour around shelters, activities that promote health with educational groups.
The benefit is very evident: reducing morbidity is undoubtedly, the best example among the benefits of these actions; we are also looking a significant change in personal hygiene amongst people, we are also seeing a better behavior and healthier people in all areas.
5. In the case of the current health contingency COVID-19, what preventive measures are being implemented by the company?
- The start was disseminating news media through posters, talks, a personal approach and implementing a preventive social distancing; all of this by being coordinated at all times by Coordinator High-Level Technician Yolanda Rodríguez.
- Temperature check-up was implemented with an infrared device for every person entering the field, packaging and daycare facilities.
- Vulnerable personnel such as adults over 60, with chronic diseases, with neuropathies and pregnant women, were suspended from activities, keeping their salary and benefits in accordance with the law.
- Daily tour around the packaging facilities to detect sick people, as well as guidance in case of doubts about the current health situation.
- Vehicle salinization before entering the packing area.
- Salinization of houses, peripheral areas and buildings that are part of shelters.
- For medical offices and daycare facilities, a hand washing facility and alcohol-based gel application was established before entering and leaving the areas.
- Well-equipped homes were enabled and a strategic plan was developed; so that, if anyone is a Covid 19 positive, the isolation is met according to the Ministry of Health criteria.
- We have exclusive vehicles for transportation in the event we have any suspect patient.
- Implementing a medical certificate that is issued to anyone who travels to their place of origin or other territories.
- We will continue looking for strategies in order to work with authorities and avoid spreading the virus.
6. How is personnel trained to adopt all of these preventive measures?
The first thing is to make the population aware that the virus and the disease are real and easily contagious.
Talks in small groups are essential; as there are many doubts to clear. Printed information reminds them that we must remain vigilant and a personal approach is a good tool so personnel can call preventive measures as their own.
7. What public/private institutions are you working with and how do you channel medical attention?
We have the support of AARC, the Ministry of Health (SSA), Mexican Social Security Institute (IMSS), agreements with Hospital Civil de Culiacán and Clínica de la Ciudad in Culiacán. In the case of suspect patients, our support is Salud Digna lab, which is performing Covid 19 tests, supported by INDRE.
8. Anything else you would like to add?
I appreciate the space you are providing me, as this is an opportunity to expose the hard work us farming doctors do; of course we do not work alone, we have the great support of nurses, dentists and the Social Work department who, undoubtedly deserves all our recognition since they are a key area so that these procedures can be developed.