Hope for Guatemala: Public care - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Hope for Guatemala: Public care


By Diana Henry - bio | email | Twitter | Facebook | Blog

GUATEMALA (WKOW)-- A local non-profit is trying to save children on the brink of dying in rural Guatemala.

I, along with photographer Mike Kellogg, recently traveled to rural Guatemala with the organization called Outreach for World Hope, it's founders Kim and Randy Tews and 23 local volunteers.

We take you to a government run hospital, where they are doing all they can with the little they have and a little extra help from Outreach for World Hope. It's our final report in a 27 News special report called 'Hope for Guatemala'.

We met up with Dr. Jose Ernesto Galdamez at the Chiquimula Public Hospital.

"Globally you can compare this to Africa," said Dr. Jose Ernesto Galdamez.

Patients can come here for free. But demand is higher than the resources.

"The hospital make efforts to try to improve but the budget is too small," said Dr. Galdamez.

Dr. Galdamez used to work here. He knows first hand the lack of resources and the difference donations make. There are times when children sleep on the floor because the beds are full. A big problem is that diseases easily spread from one patient to the next due to proximity and no isolation.

Most deliveries are done by nurses because there are not enough doctors. If a new patient shows up the staff has to decide which mother and her newborn has to leave.

"Well Diana this is the Pediatrics area. The most common problems are diarrhea and respiratory problems. As you can see there are a lot of patients in a very small area. There are only two doctors to take care of this area and the intensive care unit," said Dr. Galdamez.

Nursing students make up most of the staff you see.

So what can people back in our country help you do here?

"The hospital need a lot but equipment is one of the more important things," said Dr. Galdamez.

Dr. Galdamez says medicine expires and they don't get the same medicine from month to month.

"There is equipment like artificial ventilators, ultra sound machines, IV pumps, that stuff remains years and help a lot of people," said Dr. Galdamez.

So how important is it that people from Wisconsin are coming here to see what you are doing and help out I asked Dr. Galdamez.

"It is very important because there is a fear that the donations won't reach the place you want them to make it," said Dr. Galdamez. "So it's important. Like last year Kim and her crew brought a very useful, modern ultra sound and the hospital at the time didn't have a specialist. The hospital asked from the Ministry of Health for a specialist and this year there is a specialist using it."

Programming note: tune in on March 12th at 5pm for a half-hour special: Hope for Guatemala.

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