Why community health workers are so important to managing chronic conditions
Before Mohammed Chowdhury met a health worker in New York City, the security guard was struggling to cope with his diabetes and high blood pressure.
That changed when he began working with Mamnun Haq, a trained community health worker who communicated with Chowdhury in his native Bengali.
Haq helped him adjust his diet by encouraging him to eat less meat and rice and instead eat a diet of Bangladeshi staples like bitter gourd and gourd, okra and green papaya, and sheem, a type of flat bean. They also created an exercise routine: he and his wife made a ritual of daily walks together.
Now his blood pressure is lower and Chowdhury, 69, says he feels “fine”.