Today, Tuesday, we did 2 clinics. The first, La Hermita was a small village that had been displaced in a land slide several years ago. There are approximately 110 residents in this village. It is located in a lovely setting at the edge of a cliff. We set up in their church that had a beautifully decorated pulpit to welcome us. This is a very impoverished village without running water, that only receives shipments of water every three days. We assessed and gave medications and did teaching with people of all ages. As usual there were a lot of sore throats, coughs and headaches. Some of the children had a great time playing soccer with Jeff as they waited their turn. A few of us had to use the washroom and one of the residents welcomed us into her very meager home to do so. The people were very dignified and grateful for our help.
In the afternoon two nurses and a translator went back to the Centre of Hope to do a premature baby workshop with nursing students. They learned how to assess the gestation of babies since due to some prenatal care some mothers don’t know how far along they are when they give birth. They also learned about the special care late preterm babies may need even though they may look similar to full term babies. The students shared some of the challenges they face in the hospital systems around labour and delivery.
The rest of the group went to San Lorenzo for the afternoon clinic, where they saw 137 people. There were a lot of expectant mothers and young babies as well as large families. We saw more than usual cases that unfortunately we were unable to do as much as we would have liked to help. For example an elderly man who had a stroke and now is unable to raise his arm. A 5 year old who broke her leg a year ago and it was not set properly so she has lost much use of her leg. This is frustrating and heartbreaking but we focused on the ones we could offer treatment to. As usual, the people we met with today were so happy to see us and grateful for our attention and help.