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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Rebuilding Haiti’s Healthcare System

Recently, our program officer for the Caribbean Region, Marisol Valentin, gave a presentation about current conditions in Haiti and how Global Links is collaborating with other organizations, in other countries, to address the many issues arising from the earthquake and subsequent outbreak of cholera. While the situation is still grim, this is a story with some heroes and a hopeful ending. 

“We are of the generation that believes that things can be different and change is possible,” says one of those heroes. Take a look at our latest Field Report, which captures the essence of Marisol’s presentation.