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Thursday, May 7, 2015

In San Jose de Ocoa, health care is as important as clean water

 Dr. Castillo, a colleague of Dr. Arias, with some of the donated medical supplies.

Decades have passed since HOPE International Development Agency began helping impoverished families in the mountainous region of San Jose de Ocoa in the Dominican Republic.

Much has been done over the years to improve the lives of thousands upon thousands of families through education, training, and infrastructure work such as rural roads, schools, community centers, latrines, clean water, and simple irrigation systems that increase food production.

Yet the benefits of all this work, including freedom from poverty, can depreciate rapidly if families become sick or injured and medical treatment is not available or unsafe.

Time away from the farm field or classroom, due to sickness or injury, can quickly turn a family’s situation of gradual improvement into one of desperation.

In essence, health care is as important as clean water, food, education, and income.

Helping families in San Jose de Ocoa stay healthy is crucial if they are to become, and remain, free from poverty. HOPE International Development Agency supports the health of families by providing medicines and medical supplies that enable doctors and health workers to diagnose and treat ailments in safe and sanitary manner.

Juana Arias, a doctor working at the region’s main hospital that serves hundreds of patients each day, is one of the medical professionals that is able to provide services safely and effectively because of the medicines and medical supplies received through HOPE International Development Agency.

Every day, Dr. Arias helps mothers deliver their babies safely, whether naturally or by caesarian section. In one day alone, Dr. Arias performed three cesarean operations, including one for Elisa, a teacher and proud mother of newborn Fredalisa. Without the drapes, gloves, needles, and other basic medical supplies provided by HOPE International Development Agency for the maternity ward, Dr. Arias would not be able to perform these procedures as safely, because the hospital does not always receive enough supplies from the government.

The government of the Dominican Republic is committed to providing health care in rural and remote areas. However, it is a struggle to keep the clinics and hospitals stocked with basic medicines and supplies. This means that good health care is not always available to families. If there are no examination gloves or other supplies and medicines, patients are often required to purchase these items and bring them to the clinic in order to receive treatment. Unfortunately, the patients most in need cannot always afford the supplies or medicines and their injury or illness goes untreated.

HOPE International Development Agency is continuing to partner with communities to help maintain and improve health. By supporting the health care system in a key way, other efforts, such as education, food production, and improving incomes will continue to flourish.