We spent our week of work in May with our guest doctor Geoff Clover, MD and a visiting nurse Michelle Gooden, RN. Geoff is an Infectious Disease Specialist in Denver Colorado and works with Dr. Strohecker. Michelle is a nurse in Denver and has worked both in the laboratory setting and medical floor setting. She currently is a medical/surgical nurse in Denver so was well equipped to manage the complex patients we see at Camotan Clinic.
With Dr. Clover seeing patients, we were able to have 2 doctors working simultaneously for the week. It was a real great addition and he and Michelle were able to add new ideas, new insight into the day-to-day function of the clinic. We look forward to having them back again in the future.
As you can see above, this gave us time for one of the doctors to do more hut calls. While both doctors worked down in the clinic at times, one could also head up on the mountain to see patients who were unable to make the trip down to the clinic. Gustavo Valdez is shown above translating with one of the patients and her family member on the mountain. The scene is quite typical: thatched hut with a small fire to cook on inside. There usually are not beds (we provided that for this patient for her comfort since she is ill and bed bound). Family members and animals come and go and there is no electricity or plumbing.
As you can see above, up on the mountain, there exist structures that the government has built as schools. Here we stopped by to check in on the teachers and children and let them know we would be holding a large week-long clinic at that schoolhouse in July. School is taught until grade 6 here and then nothing more. By then the boys usually leave to work in the fields and the girls are incorporated into house work and cooking.
We had two patients come in this week with very strange neurologic symptoms. We had both sent down to the city of Chiquimula an hour away for CT scans. Something quite amazing in such a remote area! We covered the cost of the test and provided the transportation. These people really live in severe poverty and would not be able to pay for a doctors exam, let alone a CT scan. We hope to continue to use these tools as finances and donations allow to help these people.
Thank you for reading!