Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Successful Mountain Project moves on!

The Mountain Project,as part of the parish clinic of Santo Tomas La Union and mission clinic of the Diocese of Helena Montana, is moving on to new headquarters in town,the end of June. This project began in 2003 as a pilot project to demonstrate to the Ministry of Health of Guatemala a more effective way to provide health care to the diverse indigenous populations who live in remote areas of the country side. Vaccinations increased and maternal and infantil deaths, and malnutrition have all diminished in the area served. This inclusive Model of basic Health Care has proven itself a success. The goal in 2003 was that in three years the Ministry of Helath would adopt the model as an alternative model and assume the expense of the proyect. This never happened and the supporting organizations of Medicus Mundi of Spain and the European Union agreed to extend the financial support until 2011. The reality is the goal to associate with the Ministry of Health is important for this project and the different visions as a parish clinic obligate us to separate the project for the Clinica Maxeña. It has been an awarding experience to be a part of the success story demonstrated when health assistants from the same area who speak the language and understand the customs are given the opportunity of employment to provide medical care in their own communities. Many visitors who have visited our mission have visited one of the six mountain clinics of this project and have been impressed with the interest and success demonstrated by documentation and participation of the community in their own health care. Basic medical care is provided free of cost in these small mountain clinics in the same manner it is in other government clinics. So often in government clinics there are no medications, personell do not speak the indian dialect and are there only for the job which is usually politically associated and little interest in the diverse Mayan culture. The clinic will bid good by to 24 workers in a get together on June 25 with the other workers who work directly in the Clinica Maxeña. There will not be tears but celebration for a job well done and moving on to another structure and organization in our town. We will have tamales, music, games and finally a soccer match between the teams of the two groups. Colaboration, consulting on patients will continue as will the friendship.