Sra Herrera lives in Ecuador. When she recently came down with a cough Sra wasn’t sure what to do. She suffers from congestive heart failure and is on multiple medications.
As her condition worsened she was confronted with the prospect of having to try to get out of bed and visit the local hospital, something that had ended badly for her in the past.
Her daughter decided to call the Hospital Vozandes Clinic in Pifo for advice. What resulted was a home visit from missionary doctor Joe Martin and nurse Eliana Escobar. They were able to assess Mrs Herrera’s condition, pray with her and her family, and make treatment recommendations that allowed her to recover.
It was more than 20 years ago when Reach Beyond realised that the majority of health issues that the Ecuadorian people faced could be easily resolved by well-trained GPs. However, at that time there was no GP training in the country.
A group of missionary doctors decided to start a three-year GP training programme at the Vozandes Hospital in the Ecuadorian capital, Quito. Shortly afterwards, Reach Beyond opened the first GP clinic in the country with the goal of providing quality Christ-centred healthcare at an affordable price.
Since then, the mission has planted clinics throughout Quito. One is located in a mountainous area of the city where alcoholism and drug-use is a major problem; another is in a rural area with very few local services; one clinic offers GP consultations along with specialist women’s health services; another operates a day hospice - one of the few palliative care centres in Ecuador.
Thousands of patients have received God’s message of hope through interacting with these clinics.
Sadly, due to new government regulations and a desire to keep costs low for the poorest patients, many of these clinics are struggling financially.
One clinic in the shanty town of Atacucho was under threat of closure recently, despite fulfilling a huge need for the local community. However, the doctors there decided to donate their time, and take on the roles of nurses, receptionists and cleaners, in order to continue serving that needy population in the name of Jesus.
As Christmas approaches, it is comforting for us in the UK to know that our NHS is always there to support us if we should develop any health needs during the festive period. It’s so easy to take it for granted that a doctor will be available to see us within a few days.
Things are very different for many residents of Quito.
If you would like to help some of the poorest people in Ecuador receive quality healthcare with Christ at the centre, please click here to send a special gift towards the Reach Beyond clinics.*
A gift of £10 could pay for a GP consultation at one of our clinics
A gift of £25 could cover a consultation plus basic blood tests
A gift of £50 could pay for four visits by a physiotherapist
A gift of £100 could cover emergency treatment with lab work, X-rays and a transfer to hospital
* Please write "for Quito clinics" in the 'Leave a message' box.