Improving Patient Mobility in Bolivia

In many of the communities where Global Links works, transportation is challenging – unpaved roads, mountainous terrain, and lack of infrastructure make getting to the hospital or anywhere else difficult. For people with limited mobility, the difficulty is compounded, and if crutches, wheelchairs and other mobility aids are in short supply, leaving one’s home for anything can be practically impossible.

Global Links has worked with Unidad de Apoyo a la Gestion Social for many years. This Bolivian social service agency distributes mobility devices to those who have no other source for this essential equipment, and a recent shipment from Global Links contained canes, crutches, walkers and wheelchairs for them.

Wheelchairs, all refurbished by Global Links volunteers, ready to be loaded into the container and delivered to Bolivians who need mobility assistance.

This shipment also contained medical supplies and surgical instruments for Hospital Valle Hermoso, where graduates of the Latin American Medical School (ELAM) are in training. Global Links works to support the ELAM doctors as a way to increase access to healthcare. In 2012 alone, there will be 800 ELAM graduates coming to Bolivia to complete their training. Hospital Valle Hermoso serves a population of 187,067 and requested basic supplies and surgical materials in addition to furnishings.

Another recent shipment to Bolivia is destined for Hospital San Ramon. The hospital serves nine communities, focusing primarily on outpatient care. The furnishings and equipment, including beds, stretchers, scales, bassinets, and many boxes of supplies, sutures and instruments, will make a big difference in this busy hospital. With only nine beds, the hospital still manages a very large outpatient load, seeing an average of 50 daily.

Please read more about our work in Bolivia, and please consider a financial donation in support of it.

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Working with Bolivia to Improve Child Health

When a country makes great strides in improving child mortality, it is gratifying to work with them. In the last decade, child mortality in Bolivia has greatly improved as the country has increased spending on healthcare. The rate is still high – 54 per 1000 live births as compared to 8 in the US, according to WHO statistics.

Global Links has been working with Bolivian government agencies on recent projects in the department of Potosí and elsewhere. Our recent project at Hospital Daniel Bracamonte met with such success that the government of Potosí requested another project in Llallagua, in northern Potosí.  Hospital Madre Obrera is a 45-bed facility serving a population of about 70,000. This is a general hospital, and in our most recent donation they received beds, gurneys, bassinets, and many other essential furnishings that will help them improve patient care. The donation also included surgical instruments, sutures, and other supplies and equipment.

Our next shipment, to the San Juan de Dios Health Center in Chimoré, in the department of Cochabamba, has just arrived in Bolivia. This project was in response to a request from the Social Projects Support Unit within the Ministry of the President, one of Global Links’ partner agencies in Bolivia. Earlier this year, Program Officer José Henríquez visited the health center, which is being upgraded to a municipal hospital to better serve the population. The center sought support for pediatric and OB-GYN services, so this donation included bassinets, cribs, pediatric scales, exam tables, and other supplies and equipment to help expand the health services provided.

Going to San Juan de Dios Health Center in Chimoré.

Read more about our work in Bolivia, and please make a donation in support of our projects to improve child health.