Buenaventura – Colombia
KIND OF INTERVENTION
In January 2016, from the 10th to the 31st, AISPO carried out a fundraising campaign to support the Saint Rahael Hospital Ship.
Colombia is a very peculiar country, where very different social-economics realities coexist.
Rich and modern cities can be found not far from extremely poor villages where health and school service and even electricity supply are just a dream. In wild areas of the pacific side, 64% of the population lives below the poverty line. It is estimated that there is 1 doctor/100.000 inhabitants. 17 million children do not have access to healthcare, 20% of whom are younger than 5 and with a very high percentage of undernourishment and malnourishment. Rivers are the main source of drinking water but also represent a dangerous vehicle for infections that can be lethal for many, especially for children. In these arduous areas, the probability of a child dyeing before the age of 5 is estimated to be 10 times higher than in urban areas.
The health service network is poor both in human and physical resources. As a consequence, the main PHC services (vaccination campaigns, Mother and Child Health Care, follow up of pregnancies and assisted deliveries) are not offered or the offer is very poor, quantity and quality wise.
The most popular diseases are those typical of tropical areas, worsen by the really inadequate hygienic conditions and the total lack of health awareness (e.g. the necessity to wash wounds, to boil water before drinking, to prevent the mosquitoes’ bites). Malaria, dengue, yellow fever and cholera are common diseases, together with many other pathologies that could be strongly reduced by basic interventions and appropriate vaccinations campaigns.
In the pacific side of Colombia, the Saint Raphael Hospital-Ship is the only chance for people to receive Health Service.
The vessel has been equipped between 2008 and 2009 thanks to private funding raised by AISPO. Today the ship is still operative and recognized by the Colombian Ministry of Health but requires constant support.
The mobile hospital travels along the rivers of the Pacific Colombian coast and offers free and vital health services to the population living in wild areas.
Saint Raphael Hospital-Ship is composed by a crew of
22 people and equipped with the following departments:
· 4 outpatient departments for general medicine
· 1 paediatric department
· 1 gynaecology and pregnancy monitoring department (equipped with echograph)
· clinical laboratory of level I and II
· pharmacy service
· operating theatre with recovery room
· dental clinic
The Health Services offered are:
· early diagnosis and referral of women with suspect cancer of the cervix
· control of communicable diseases
· control of cardiovascular diseases
· control of sexual infections
· surgery of medium-low complexity
· prevention of family violence and sexual abuse
· pregnancy control/ obstetrical scan and post- natal care
· specialized consulting on paediatrics, internal medicine, ophthalmology, dermatology, odontology
· health education and awareness programs for locals
So far we have done a lot:
8 years of activity
42.000 patients visited