Across the hemisphere, people are struggling to keep their diabetes under control. For Spanish-speaking farmworkers, the endeavor may be even more difficult: they move regularly for work, lack English language proficiency, and lack access to healthy foods. Because of these and other compounding issues, many have limited or interrupted access to health care. Migrant Clinicians Network is working hard to support clinicians, like community health workers/promotores de salud, who may only see a farmworker patient with diabetes once before the growing season ends and the patient moves on. And there’s a dearth of high-quality, patient-tested material for low-literacy Spanish-speaking diabetes patients. So we got to work.
MCN is well known for its culturally competent low-literacy materials that are engaging and memorable. Our extremely popular comic books have reached the hands of tens of thousands of Spanish-speaking agricultural workers on critical topics like pesticides and dairy worker safety.
So, earlier this year, we began to build a 16-page full-color low-literacy comic book in Spanish with up-to-date information on diabetes. In it, two farmworkers discuss how they live with diabetes. They review how to build their plate with healthy foods and which foods to avoid that Latinos often encounter. Two sample menus share a Latino-influenced plant-based whole foods option in addition to a traditional low-carb, low-fat option. The comic book also includes realistic exercise regimens that don’t require a gym or special equipment, picture-based foot care and good hygiene recommendations, and a pull-out A1c goals page.
The two characters also discuss how farmworkers can live with diabetes and take care of their mental health, particularly if they are away from their families while working. These depictions, of real-life emotional struggles among farmworkers with diabetes, are fully absent in today’s diabetes materials.
After months of work, the comic book is now nearly complete and will soon be tested among clinicians and farmworkers. But we need your help! We know this important resource will be in high demand in clinics around the country — but there is very little funding to get it printed. Any dollar you donate to this campaign will go directly to printing up the finalized comic book and getting it into the hands of farmworkers with diabetes, so they can get relatable and relevant information that they need to get on the path to health.
Your donation is a great investment: Not only will your dollar be doubled by Hispanics in Philanthropy during this Giving Tuesday, but the comic book itself will pay for itself in lives saved and improved. The comic book will empower people to get healthy, instead of neglecting their illness, which leads to costly complications in the future, or even death. Thank you for your support of farmworker health!
MCN’s mission is to create practical solutions at the intersection of vulnerability, migration, and health. Read more about MCN at migrantclinician.org.