35,000 treatments a year, instruction programmes on health, hygiene and raising children, and medical home visits to the remote areas where communities live: this is just a selection of the challenging tasks undertaken by the medical and dentist team. Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday they hold consultation sessions for the poor local population – who stand in line in front of the red access gate, waiting, because there’s nowhere else they can go to get this kind of care.
The medical and dentist practice of Niños del Arco Iris is a health centre with a low entry barrier. It is state-accredited and collaborates closely with the government. The walk-in sessions are held three times a week from 8 in the morning till 5 in the afternoon and people come from miles around to be treated.
Familia Saludable means healthy family. It is an ongoing health programme for families living in extremely poor circumstances. These families have no chance to build up a healthy existence, so they get extensive medical and social assistance. In addition to care in terms of physical problems, they also get psychological help, and supervision and help towards a healthy existence.
Every Tuesday and Thursday, the doctor, dentist and nurse conduct home visits. The families get help, not in the form of money, but advice and what they need for improving the quality of family life. The families participating in the programme are expected to actively take part. They often spend years following the programme.
To the remote communities
High in the mountains, in the most remote areas, extreme poverty prevails. The people living here are extremely isolated. They receive no medical care or assistance. Twice a year the medical team sets up camp in these communities. In often ice-cold and primitive conditions, they provide the bare essentials of dental and medical assistance. They also give instructions and support in the area of hygiene and family planning. During these weeks, hundreds of children and adults are treated and they are given blankets, clothes and food.
Together with medical specialists from New York, every year some 200 patients are treated for eye disease and 80 cataract operations are carried out. This campaign is extremely important for the poor local population.