Day 3 in Guatemala saw the team incredibly busy. Today they broke into two teams. A clinic team and a teaching team.
The amazing medical team were in two communities. The morning saw them in Parramos and the afternoon clinic they worked in Antigua. What has quickly become the norm, the clinics were very busy with people waiting for us prior to our arrival. I cannot emphasize enough how hard the medical team works. It truly is a collaborative team working together well into the late evening to ensure every person who needs to is seen by a medical care provider.
At both locations the logistics of ensuring a streamlined movement of people from registration, through the clinic and onto the pharmacy is accomplished by Lisa and Ken. Their welcoming manner is a blessing to the families in a hot and crowded environment. Great thanks to them both for their work.
The teaching team taught two sessions on the subjects of paediatric dehydration, newborn care and obstetrical management. Our audience was Guatemalan medics and nursing students. The morning and afternoon session saw us reaching out to over 120 students and paramedics.
It was rewarding for us to meet the students and other healthcare providers in Guatemala. The high professional standard and drive for knowledge will ensure devoted healthcare individuals for Guatemala.
Having been able to be a part of the Guatemalan healthcare community, even for a short time, is a life experience. I give thanks to the students and paramedics for letting us be part of their learning and work life.
What a fantastic day we had! It was our first day offering medical relief to the Guatemalan community of Chimaltenango. Our whole team was fully engaged to ensure all those who came to the clinic received individualized care.
Our paediatrician, Dr. Michael, was a big hit! He was constantly surrounded by children. He spent the day examining and treating infants, toddlers and children. Every parent whose child was seen by Dr. Michael was greatly comforted to have the expertise of a Canadian paediatrician.
The pharmacy team, lead by Miranda, was a “work of art”. They were a streamlined, efficient team working tirelessly into the evening. Miranda ensured that all 320 individuals received their treatment medications with an explanation and written instructions corresponding to the medications.
For myself, the most humbling experience of the day was the hug I received from an eleven year old boy who came to the clinic completely by himself. This lad had cellulitis of the lower leg. He was treated with medication injected directly into the muscle and given medication to be continued over the next several days. The relief this young man felt was expressed in a spontaneous hug. I was blessed to have been at the receiving end of this expression of emotion.
I give thanks to the community of Chimaltenango for letting us be a part of their lives for a moment. It was an honour to be with you.
Day one is spent sorting and preparing for the first clinic day. This requires “all hands on deck” and everyone helps to get things done. This means counting and sorting medications, vitamins and supplies as well as photocopying and paper cutting. The team is excited and ready to go.
Everyone is safe and sound in Guatemala this morning.
“We arrived safe and sound and on time and were met by the Loving Arms people who transported us to Antigua. All our bags arrived without incident and cleared customs, including the hockey bags containing medical supplies and vitamins. After a 1 hour drive to Antigua the team checked into the hotel and looked forward to a good night’s sleep.
Today we are going to the Loving Arms Centre to sort medicines, prepare the pharmacy supplies and get ready for the first clinic day. We will be taking some photos and will send them.” Ken Dick, president.
The first clinic day tomorrow will be a “first” for some of our team members and a “first in a long time” for others. It is an experience they will not soon forget. Being a part of providing a much-needed service to people who do not have access to regular medical care is life-changing. We can’t wait to hear from each of these team members about their experiences.