The group was split in two today. Some went to the Tsachila village while I went to the Shoulder to Shoulder clinic. I was excited to finally be able to see the clinic that I have heard about for the past few months. The clinic wasn't in the best part of town but there was a guard watching the gate and only let in a few people in at a time. We had our own set of problems but a solution was always found. When our hemoglobin strips stopped working properly we had to use a centrifuge to determine the hematocrit levels. It was different seeing how tests could be run without current technology.
The clinic went well and I was able to meet many people. The clinic staff kept order and ensured all patients were treated. The only issue of the day was when a mother came running into the clinic with her baby who was having a seizure. They didn't have the proper medication to stop the seizure but the doctors were able to stabilize the child and send him to the local hospital. Each staff member reacted quickly and it was almost like watching a choreographed show. The nurses insured the frantic parents to remain outside while the doctors worked within the walls of the clinic.
Again we came home to a very simple seafood and rice dish at the convent. I am looking forward to being able to visit the native village of Tsachila.
I´m sorry I cannot write more but I am using the clinic computer and have to let the others in the group send their emails. They are definitely keeping us busy, but I am having a great time. I can´t wait to find out what the next few days will bring.
Jim Buscher, who will start at UK Medical School in August, is a two-time graduate of the College of Arts & Sciences with degrees in psychology (2009) and biology (2010). But before he enrolls in gross anatomy or makes his rotations in the hospital, Buscher has embarked on a journey to Ecuador as a volunteer with Shoulder to Shoulder Kentucky, an international organization dedicated to improving the quality of life in resource-limited communities.
Jim will spend time working in health clinics performing screenings and tackling the issues that confront the community’s wellbeing, but he also plans on doing more than dealing with health initiatives. Following the lead of Jacob Sither, a friend and student in UK’s College of Public Health, Jim will take part in distributing donated equipment to help develop a soccer program in the community, hoping to build a self-sustaining recreational program to supplement their efforts to improve general public health. The whole point of these enterprises, Jim says, is to improve the lives and families in the community by addressing health, education and economic issues.