The Pequenos Pasitos clinic and community center has achieved its goal – the infant mortality rate has remained at zero and the communities we serve no longer suffer from the preventable illnesses we found when we arrived 7 years ago.
As of August 1, 2011, the clinic closed its daily walk-in visits in order to shift resources to implement a two part strategy: (1) maintain progress made in health care through lower cost home visits conducted by our nurses and (2) focus on phase two of our mission, education.
During the first full year of operation, the clinic saw many different types of disease states. The top 5 diagnoses included parasites, impetigo, pain, tonsillitis and colds. These accounted for only 28% of the medical consultations given. In the final full year of operation, the top 5 diagnoses only included two diseases; colds and virus. The other three were pregnancy, well baby and family planning. These top 5 accounted for 40% of the medical consults given. Certainly, our educational talks and constant reminders of prevention through our monthly newsletters, Buenas Noticias, had an impact.
The Foundation could have cared for colds and flu forever. But our mission is to raise a generation of healthy children, not to supplant the responsibilities of the Government Rural Clinics.
Because our Infant Mortality Rate remains at zero, we continue to support a medical outreach through our two nurses, who visit the homes of pregnant women and the children in our communities from newborn to 5 years old. They monitor the development of our children using Bright Futures (www.brightfutures.com) as a guide.
Meanwhile, the students attending university though scholarship funds supported by our volunteers, were failing the basic subjects of mathematics and Spanish. Their primary and secondary education had failed them and they are not prepared to compete with the other students.
The Foundation saw that our generation was changing and we had to change with it.