Thursday, July 7, 2016

Sergio Presents to the Local Medical School

L>R: Elsa, Don Sergio, Ethan.

Cesar and his girlfriend Lupe (both 2nd year medical students) invited Don Sergio to talk to their peers at the local medical school UNICH.  Sergio asked me to bring the video, El Andalon, to show the students then afterwards he'd say a few words about caring for wounds and burns.

Display put up by Cesar and Lupe about the care Don Sergio provides.
Sergio was clearly nervous, which was refreshing to see: indicative of the importance of speaking to future local health professionals. After the film, he quickly went into a dialog of how best to assess and treat burns, then onto ulcers. I never seen Don Sergio talk so much. If he knew how to do a powerpoint he may have talked for hours.

Don Sergio talking about burn and wound care.
The university emphasizes cultural awareness of the local indigenous population and opened the medical school 3 years ago.  It will take a total of 6 years for Cesar and Lupe to finish their training, then one year of social service to obtain their medical degree.

Sergio and his wife, Elsa.

Sixteen medical students came to the lecture.
L>R: Don Sergio, Cesar, Lupe.

A special thank you to Veremos Productions, Consuelo Alba and John Speyer for their generosity of creating this well told story of Don Sergio and his work.

Posted by Patricia Ferrer, PA-C.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

School Construction

Escuela 5th of marzo

The small center room with the sheet metal roof is the nurses exam room, being completed soon.
The situation in this part of Mexico is on shaky ground with the 'bloqueados' (road blocks). From what I'm told, teachers are protesting for the rights to teach children what they need to learn in life to do well for themselves and to know their rights. Some teachers have been paid and some have not; same for healthcare professionals. A nurse I know was only partially paid. I would imagine if this happened in the US, there would be a major revolucion.  Just imagine what it is like for everyone here.  Nonetheless, those suffering at this moment are the minds of children not being educated at all.

The library, currently is also being used as the ground keeper residence.
Another view of the library.
Recent educational math activities remain on the board.
Outside the grounds-keeper's home.
Don Sergio's 5th of marzo school project continues and the community it serves is involved with the school and they remain open with the exception of summer break. So, for now construction continues.  Sergio has completed the latrines and the school library, there is a room for a school nurse and he is completing a home for the school's grounds-keeper.  This school complex has been in the making for 6 years now....typical poco a poco.

Completing the ground keepers home.
Fortunately, for Don Sergio, foreigners have stepped up to help. One couple, R&L, have generously donated a nice sum to help complete the library, nurses room, water pump for the latrines and roof.  Then, out of the blue, Don Sergio was contacted by a newly formed US solar company to see if they can donate solar panels for one of his projects. They worked out a visit to San Cris while on a family vacation, visited with Don Sergio and took a tour of the school and all agreed it is an excellent place to add the solar panels. Everyone is happy about this as there is only one business in San Cris that has solar panels, this will be the second and it is a community school.  All are excited about not being dependent on the city's electricity. For those that may not know, electricity is very expensive here.

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Summer 2016: Indiegogo Generosity Campaign

Ethan presents our mock up five thousand USDs award raised via the Indiegogo Generosity Campaign.

Our 2nd annual fundraising campaign, thanks to everyone who donated, was an absolute success! Our goal of $5000 USDs was reached and we are able to help fund Don Sergio over the next year.  As usual, he is grateful to all his friends that continue to support him and his work.  The never-ending influx of patients with burns and wounds seems endless and all donations help reduce the suffering in this part of the world.

At this time we have a 2 and a half-year-old that was pushed into a tub of hot water by her brother, which burned her back, legs and genitalia.  These are first-degree burns (epidermal blisters) and superficial second-degree burns (the superficial portion of the dermis).  These types of burns are so painful and although the little girl cries when we change her bandages, she lets us do our job. We do it as quickly and smoothly as possible.  The poverty she, her family and neighbors live in astounds us: no clean water, no toilets, they cook with wood, the walls are thin planks, and discarded items are used in any way possible for shelter. There is no waste for the poor; they find utility in everything, just as nature does.

Neighborhood kids wait for us to finish our burn care for the 2 1/2 y/o girl.

30% of her body surface area was burned, 1st and superficial 2nd degree burns.

Anita, a nurse works with Don Sergio M - F for his morning rounds. She has not been paid at her hospital job in 6 months. She has 3 children ages 12, 9, and 4. Sergio pays her what he can, when he can.

Summer 2016: Effects of the road blocks

Flowers at Bela's are in full bloom.

This summer trip finds Sergio with good energy and nice support so that he can complete his local projects.  As usual, on the medicine side, we see the same health problems but different people.  As for the local turmoil, teachers and healthcare professionals are striking and protesting and have control of the flow of traffic in and out of the San Cris.

Ethan and I arrived Tuesday night with a few glitches but we knew everything would work out.  Our taxi driver What'sApp'd us and said he could not pick us up at the airport. So when we arrived in Tuxtla at 630pm it turned out the OCC bus was getting ready to depart to San Cris and unknown to us, we purchased the last 2 seats (the bus was packed). Eleven kilometers outside of San Cris we had to detour via a dirt road to get on the old highway into the city.  Safely we arrived at Bela's around 9pm.

Driving against traffic, these are the lines to get into the gas station, double file.
We had been aware of the recent protesting and violence in Oaxaca and although we did not see any protesting, we definitely experienced the effects. Teachers and health professionals (to my understanding have not been paid) create road blocks which prevent certain items to come in and out of the city. Tourism numbers are low and gasoline is limited. The lines at gas stations are long and they run out quickly. We cannot go out to the communities so we only treat the local patients....keeps us busy enough!