Initially funded through generous private donations from friends and associates LED has worked to support this venture.
The villagers in the region of the Blanca where we are currently distributing school supplies and solar lighting do not have access to even the most basic health care. In April, we started on a plan to open a clinic in the region that would serve the 3000 people in the 10 villages and surrounding area. In July we spent time with several medical professionals tending to basic health care concerns in the area. This was a very big first step, but only the beginning.
In August, while distributing school supplies and solar lights, we met the President of one of the last villages we visited. It was unique because the President was a woman and a nurse named Cirila Flores Rondan. We approached her and asked her if she would be willing to take on the health project for the area. Cirila agreed and the next step has now been undertaken.
Cirila is traveling by horse to the village of Quisuar one day a week. She is attending to at least 10 people each visit. The number is increasing as word reaches the people in the region. As with our lighting program, we are giving ownership to the people in the region. We are collecting 5 soles (about US$1.30 ) per family for the use of the clinic. They also pay 3 soles for any prescription medication. This money is used for replacement medication.
Our healthworker is qualified in many facets of health care. There are plans for her to offer prenatal, sanitation, and hygiene classes in the immediate future.
Most of April has been spent purchasing materials for the clinic. We are having windows and doors made in the area to keep the resources in the region and give work to local craftsmen. All the bricks and cement have also been purchased locally. We have hired 2 masons from a neighboring village to handle the construction. Much of the labour is being done by the villagers on a voluntary basis.
It is amazing the spirit of cooperation that prevailed throughout the entire project. The clinic was constructed in 8 weeks. The tremendous efforts of the entire Bedon family, Senor Juan, and Val Pitkethly are the reason it was completed quickly. We are deeply grateful to all that worked on the project.
This July we had Dr. Rod Leighton, Ray Potvin, and Lu Hall in Quishaur volunteering their valuable time at the clinic, light project , and school supplies. Dr. Leighton worked with Cirila on advanced medical skills. Ray, a pharmacist, created a formulary and helped Cirila organize the pharmaceutical aspect of the clinic. Lu was invaluable helping organize the school supplies and solar light distribution and working on the clinic. We owe them a tremendous debt of gratitude and thank them for taking their holiday time volunteering.
The Clinic is now open 5 days a week.
From April to August we visited the clinic numerous times. We are constantly making improvements to better serve the villages. We are completing the installation of a permanent water source. Much of our efforts have been in the area of hygiene and sanitation. The better health of the children is indicative of the work done by our health care workers this past year. At this time unfortunately Cirila had to leave her post and return to her village. This short term setback has been quickly resolved and we are pleased to announce the appointment of a new health worker to the position in January 2011.
We have also installed a shower, solar water heater, and composting toilet.