Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Tuberculosis makes a comeback!

Friends and Family,
There have been many changes in Health Care during the more than twenty years I was absent from Guatemala.  Certainly notably is the presence of an increase of doctors in the rural area.  Diagnostic tests are much more common to confirm and to diagnose illness.  The Clinica Maxena has grown as has the population.  Health needs are much more complex but the poverty has increased and this complicates the health care of such a vast population.  The Ministry of Health care system for the population has become less efficient and little improvement has been made in hospitals and the rural health care system by the government.  The Catholic Church and other private health systems struggle to help the most poor with acute and chronic illness.  Diabetes, Cancer, Tuberculosis, Malnutrition, AIDS, are the most acute illnesses and costly at this time for our Clinic.

Today we admitted to our infirmary, Magdalena, 25 year old single mom, with Tuberculosis, severe anemia and malnutrition; she weighs only 78 pounds. Last week we did transfuse her with two units of blood provided by siblings.  She lives with her parents, brothers and sisters in a two room, rustic home, in a mountain village. Her son is four years old.  Tuberculosis medications are provided by the Ministry of Health.  Next week her child will be checked with a skin test for tuberculosis. The other family members will not be checked unless symptomatic. Great limitations for diagnosis and treatment exists for financial reasons but it is discouraging to see Tuberculosis back on the health scene. Please keep in prayer all the dear people we serve and if possible send us a donation to help us provide improved medical care for all those who knock on our clinic door. Thank You and blessings. sheila

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