Saturday, May 9, 2009

Hospitals in Guatemala

Visiting patients and taking patients to hospitals in Guatemala is often a difficult experience. It is another world to care we receive in our Health System in the US. This week Mary and I accompanied a patient with the diagnosis of Tuberculosis and AIDS to a hospital in the second largest city. Her condition is grave but she wants treatment and we are glad that she and her husband agreed to go to the hospital. It is one of the few National Hospitals that diagnose and treat Tuberculosis patients and also have a program for antivirals and the treatment of AIDS. She is only 39. She has four children. The Hospital is delapitated, grim really, but the care is adequate and the most appropiate place for her to heal. It is much colder so we hope she can adjust to the climate change.

Today also I went to the National Hospital nearby to check on one of our workers sister who had a baby by emergency C Section. I was a little sad to see the newborn as she has hydrocephalus. Really a beautiful tiny face admist her huge head; her prognosis is grim. Patients and personell are with masks due to the arrival to Guatemala of the virus that is gripping the world. Three cases have been identified.
Time has made small improvements in the care and diagnostic procedures in this hospital for the patients. Doctors and Nurses really have little access to the means or medications to bring full recovery to many of the patients. Health Care is not a Human Right here. We are blessed that our doctor works one day a week in the national Hospital and is able to track our patients.

Time to eat as rain soaks the ground outside. Thank You for allowing me to share with you.