The Mano a Mano clinic program was our second program created, as a natural progression from our first project of collecting surplus medical supplies in the US and shipping them to Bolivia. Initially these supplies were sent to equip the hospital in Cochabamba that Dr. Jose Velasquez managed, but over the years we saw that without adequate infrastructure to accept supplies these donations could not be used to their full potential. Now, 13 years after Mano a Mano Bolivia was founded as our first nonprofit in Bolivia (we now have 4), we have built 131 clinics in addition to hundreds of other infrastructure projects throughout the country.

Typical design for a Mano a Mano clinic, in Challhuani.

Here are a few random facts about our clinic program:

  1. There have been 4,171,015 patient visits since our clinic program began. The entire population of rural Bolivia is 4.12 million.
  2. 461,751 people have received vaccinations from Mano a Mano clinics.
  3. There have been 16,094 births attended by a Mano a Mano physician. In rural Bolivia, 1,288 of these 16,094 babies would be expected to die (an 8% infant mortality rate). In our clinics only 89 have died (a 0.55% infant mortality rate). This represents a 94% reduction in infant mortality.
  4. 1,288,000 Bolivians have received health talks over all years.
  5. In 2011 there were 10 health education workshops that covered 173 different topics, including Neonatal Apnea, Gastrointestinal Hemorrhage, Chagas Disease, Abdominal Surgery, and 3rd Molar Extraction & Complications, among many others. All course topics are chosen by attendees.
  6. Clinics have created jobs; there are 438 doctors, nurses, and dentists on staff in Mano a Mano clinics and every single one is paid for by a source in Bolivia.
  7. There were 10 health education workshops in 2011 (3 workshops each for doctors, nurses, and dentists). The tenth workshop was an International Acute Care Conference, with 15 healthcare professionals from Minnesota traveling to participate and 347 Bolivian healthcare professionals attending.
  8. Clinics create new opportunities. There have been a number of clinics that have expanded and added a second story, nutrition center, or new generator due to the demand; none of these additions were paid for by Mano a Mano.
  9. Mano a Mano has hosted at least 9 health education workshops for doctors and nurses each year.
  10. Clinic staff travel a lot to people’s homes. Even with a clinic in their community, many residents are still far away from the clinic site or have trouble getting to the physical clinic site. For this reason clinic staff make home visits; more than 21% of all patient visits with Mano a Mano are in the home, and 1/3 of all childbirths take place in the home.
  11. Dental care is a huge component of the services provided. 21% of all visits to a Mano a Mano clinic are for dental work; 68 of 131 clinics have at least one dentist on staff.