Guatemala Rural Village Health Clinics
HMA sponsors monthly health clinics in four remote mountain villages of Guatemala. All of these communities lack access to health care. The nearest hospital is at least two hours away. HMA Members Dr. Gabriella Hernandez, and Nurses Maria Lares, Pedro Pineda, and Jose Trinas work at each clinic. In addition, two clinic days are held each week at their field office in San Martin, a small city in southwestern Guatemala. Up to 40 patients may be seen during a single clinic day. Literally thousands of patients are treated each year at the clinics.
Ongoing health education for personal and dental hygiene, and nutrition is a key factor in improving health in rural Guatemala. The staff focuses on patient education so patients can better understand diseases, causes, and solutions. Because of the high illiteracy rate, written materials are of little use, so personal counseling is a vital part of patient care.
Ongoing staff development is also part of the clinic health program. The nurses are well qualified to perform consultations, prescribe appropriate medicine, and educate patients. Training takes place one day a month and additional training is provided when HMA health professionals visit from the United States.
All community members are treated at the health clinics with no limitation to religion, age or gender. To encourage patients to take an active role in improving their health, patients at the field office in San Martin pay a fee of 20 Quetzals (roughly $2.60 US) for a doctor's consult and medicine. At the remote clinics patients pay a nominal fee proportionate to the typical villager's income. More than 90% of the patients pay the requested fee. For patients who cannot pay, their treatment and medicine are free.
HMA provides the additional funds necessary for this vital health care service, which comes to approximately $80 per clinic day. For your donation of $80 (less than $2 a week) you, your family, your congregation, or other health-minded group can provide health care for at least 35 people living in poverty in remote villages in the mountains of Guatemala.