Rene’ Dove and Danni Barber’s story:
“I had the “opportunity” to use the services of the local health clinic near our place in Ecuador last summer. After 2 days of high fever and body pain I decided to get medical attention. When I arrived at the medical clinic, with a neighbour to help translate, I was dealt with right away, info taken, blood work done, drugs for fever and rehydration were given to me. Apparently, I had dengue or chikungunya. Subsequent tests the following day confirmed it was dengue. I returned every day for 4 days to have my blood work done to track my platelet count. On day 2, I was kept in emerg for the whole day until they emptied 2 IV bags into me for rehydration. The doctor or nurse checked on me about every 10-15min. I was so impressed with the thoroughness and quality of the care. I have to say that it was better than I have received in Canada. When I asked how much I owed, I was told nothing! Everyone, Ecuadorian or tourist, receive medical care free of charge in government hospitals or clinics. It was clear, however, that the clinic was in need of some basic supplies, like towels, masks, gloves, bandages, etc. It seems that although the present government has been good at building clinics in small communities, they do not have the means to provide supplies and equipment that is required to provide the best possible care. Ecuador is a developing country after all.
This last trip down I wanted to repay or support the clinic somehow. Luckily I found an organization called “Not Just Tourists”. They provide suitcases of medical supplies for travelers to take to medical facilities in need around the world. With the help of the same helpful neighbor I was able to make the necessary contacts to ensure that I would be able to deliver the supplies to the right people at the medical clinic in Jama. When we presented the suitcase of supplies, the Director of Centro De Salud, Lenny Estacio, was very grateful!
A big thank you to Letty (Dady) Cuadrado and Alexander (Sander) Cevallos of Jama for helping to facilitate this!! Also to Lesli Flaman for helping to make the initial contacts for the clinic.
After we presented the director with the suitcase of supplies provided by Not Just Tourists, we got a tour of the clinic and met some of the ambulance staff.
I learned that the health center is more needy than I had originally thought. We now have a list of things most needed by the clinic. Which turns out to be almost everything! What really stood out for us was the fact that they don’t even have sheets (not even bottom ones) for any of the 18 beds. The clinic has one AED (defibrillator) that is kept in the only ambulance. When it is out on a call there isn’t an AED available to the clinic. The third urgent need is for glucometers (and a whole bunch of strips). They also have no cervical collars (fits-all would be best). A more complete list of required items is included below as one of the photos. We’re hoping to get some of this for our next trip down if we can figure out how to raise some money. If others are willing to bring some of these items down Jama, Matal, CocoBeach Village and visitors will all benefit from a better equipped medical centre.
Thanks so much Not Just Tourists!!
Rene’ Dove and Danni Barber”