Monday, November 9, 2009

Devastation in El Salvador

I am writing from Suchitoto, a small town in the north east region of El Salvador. I am here as part of Basic Health International's clinical delegation; our mission is to screen and treat El Salvdoran women for pre-cancerous lesions and educate local health care professionals about identifying these lesions using VIA (visual inspection with acetic acid). Previous delegations have screened and treated up to 900 women in five days.

Unfortunately, our mission has been put to an indefinite halt as the country has just been declared to be in a national state of emergency. Residual effects of Hurricane Ida have devastated many regions of El Salvador causing massive flooding, mudslides, and deaths. Although Suchitoto has not been affected, the devastation was evident as we drove from San Salvador to our present location yesterday afternoon.

Last night we had dinner with the mayor who shed further light on the current situation. Currently, our delegation leaders are meeting with the minister of health and hospital officials to determine if we will be able to continue our mission, and if so, to what capacity. The two primary concerns are first, that women will not be able to reach our clinic as many roads have been blocked by debris, and second, that health care professionals across the country have been summoned to area hospitals and thus can not receive the training in VIA and cryotherapy. Although education is a major component of this mission, screening and treating women is of utmost priority which means we will still carry out our commitment to these women, providing we are not requested to help out with the current situation. Our group has offered to government officials that we suspend our mission in effort to help with the effects of the flood in any way that we can- this will be decided within the next few hours.

I have been moved by the little time I have spent here. The clinicians I have interacted with are incredible. El Salvadorans are lovely, and the children here are remarkably confident with their cheek to cheek grins when acknowledging our presence.

As I learn more about Basic Health, I am increasingly humbled to be affiliated with such an accomplished non profit organization. Basic Health is the first and only to successfully enter a country and 1. implement its lobbied suggestions for methods of standard practice (as it pertains to women's health) , 2. see that said changes become standards of medical school education, and 3. provide follow-up healthcare to our patients of which includes research to determine the effectiveness of these methods.

I recognize the safety concerns that comprise many central american countries. El Salvador is meant to be particularly marked by crimes which reflect that stark contrast between the wealthy and the poor- kidnappings are particularly prevalent. Extra precautions to protect the group have been made and we have two armed body guards with us at all times.


Anonymous said...

Hi Sweetie,
It was great to hear your voice Monday morning, reassuring me that you were O.K. despite your frightening flight to El Salvador and all the devastation down there. Please continue posting on the developments.
I am very proud of you for being a member of the BHI delegation and your commitment to its causes!

Anonymous said...

Absolutely courageous and very noble to have been with the El Salvadorians.

It is evident to note the compassion, the camaraderie and the immense patience, care, human kindness and love that you bring when tending and caring for the sick and impaired dear.

I am with a meditation which would truly help these El Salvadorians reverse and know how frail and so cloaked with a raiment they had been when they realize that the sixth sense within them is the consciousness which reveals the compassionate, the kind hearted and the tenderness and caring , of the Lord Jesus of Nazareth Himself. The Mother of Jesus, and Mother Mary when manifesting the feminine powers and the complete and total sacredness in miracles unfolding when with the Lords presence via the sixth sense.

This my dear is the Age and the year of the compassionate, the kind hearted, and the One with a roar of the lion in making known the source of making for comfort and knowing the oceans of kindliness order and kindred feelings deep within the borders and parameters of the sixth sense.

In Nam Myoho Renghe Kyo we arouse awaken and illumine the Light within to merge and unfold the immense compassion, caring, kindliness and kindred feeling unto those whom we tend to shepherd..

May these incantations reach the El Salvadorians whose ways and jou rney of life have been tempered too long with interferences. The time has come for them to know and reach within to source the power to reverse and bring to them and their polity , the Will to live and journey forward to the age of Enlightenment barely a decade away.

In the lord we trust

kind regards
best wishes