by Kamy Sullivan
Thanks to generous parishioners and their donations, we have been able to purchase a laptop computer and digital camera for Beatrice, our health care worker at the Padre Vincente medical clinic in El Recreo. In the mornings Beatrice “makes the rounds” by walking the dirt pathways of El Recreo, and in the afternoons she opens the clinic for appointments and walk-in patients. During her rounds she visits the pregnant and chronic ill. Beatrice enters patient information into the computer and then saves the info to a flash drive. The laptop computer saves her miles of walking as she no longer has to travel to the museum to use their computer to enter patient information. With the new camera, Beatrice takes digital images to record the condition of the patients. The donation of the computer and the camera has made her job much more effective.
Following the January 2016 delegation trip we gave Beatrice permission to purchase a few pieces of medical equipment for the bare-bones clinic. She has purchased an otoscope, blood sugar level detector for villagers with diabetes, stethoscopes, a Doppler to listen to pregnant women’s fetal heartbeat, and a blood pressure kit. Most of the equipment was purchased in San Miquel, using funds from an individual parishioner. Beatrice has been working with a doctor from Berlin on how to properly use the new equipment. Beatrice is also being trained to identify emergency situations where she can make the determination if the patient needs to be sent to a clinic or the hospital in Berlin.
Beatrice can also call our El Salvadoran liaisons, Milagro and Andres, and have them report to members of the El Recreo core group at St. Boniface if emergent funds are needed for ambulance services, emergency medications, or other health-related emergencies. Beatrice meets with Milagro and Andres monthly to report on her medical work. Donations from individuals within St. Boniface, not from our church funds, allow us to move forward in a positive direction using a health care provider who is very dedicated to the people of her village and our sister village El Recreo, El Salvador.