Sexual Health Education Project

sexedIn July 2006, after spending three months in Bolivia, Sharon Hopkins, a Master of Social Work student from Nova Scotia, Canada, along with help from American volunteer medical students Melissa Marinelli, Ben Gray, Lisa Jager and Lavinia Sinitean and clinic nurse Guinda Vallejos Guerra, delivered six sexual health education presentations to junior high and high school students in the towns of Yapacani and Buena Vista.
The presentations were part of a sexual health project that Sharon conducted for Centro Medico Humberto Parra. Sharon developed the presentations in response to the overwhelming need for sexual and reproductive health education geared toward teenagers and the high rate of teenage pregnancy in the surrounding communities.

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Emergency Medicine Program

davesearsIn summer 2003, David Sears, a Dartmouth medical student, set up the clinic's first emergency response plan for surrounding communities. Dave trained community leaders to handle emergency situations when Centro Medico was closed. He also arranged for contracts with hospitals in nearby towns of Portachuelo and Buena Vista which facilitated emergency treatment for Centro Medico patients.

Fixing The Road

bridgeMother Nature and her torrential downpours during the rainy season often make the compacted dirt road to the clinic impassible for days at a time. Despite many attempts at road repair costing a fair amount of money, Mother Nature always seems to win and we have yet to solve this problem. We welcome any help from engineers or road construction experts.

Solar Panel Project

solar panelOne of Centro Medico's founding principles is to protect the environment and operate in the most environmentally friendly way possible. Centro Medico is now looking into installing solar panels. In fall 2007, an alternative energy consultant, Derek Supple, volunteered to help make solar energy a reality at the clinic. He worked to develop a water distiller, and helped our architect Angela develop plans to integrate solar energy. Derek is now back in Chicago, but his legacy will continue.

The Chagas Project

thatched roofChagas is a disease of poverty and most often afflicts populations like the one served by Centro Medico. Chagas is a chronic disease that commonly causes heart and gastrointestinal problems which are often further complicated by other health conditions. Over half the population served by Centro Medico has tested positive for Chagas.

Many of the clinic's families are at risk of contracting chagas because the "vinchuca," the insect that carries the parasite that causes Chagas, lives in the thatched roofs and in the cracks of the earthen walls commonly found in the homes of Centro Medico's families.

Centro Medico's Chagas Project works to prevent the spread of Chagas through education. The program emphasizes sleeping in an area enclosed by mosquito nets, educating women on the risks of transmission of Chagas' to their babies, and building future homes with materials that are inhospitable to the venchuca. Besides education alone, we are also now able to refer patients to governmental treatment programs, designed to prevent future complications that can come from chronic Chagas infection.

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