Mano a Mano’s 151st Clinic Dedicated in March, in Honor of Mano a Mano’s Co-Founders
On March 21, 2015 Mano a Mano’s 151st clinic was dedicated! The base funding for this clinic came from Joseph and Charlotte Blitt, who dedicated this project to our co-founders Joan and Segundo Velasquez. The dedication ceremony was going to be attended by a group of travelers (including Joseph and Charlotte) that were in Bolivia, but sadly the road to reach the clinic had washed out a few weeks before and it would have been very difficult to get there (our Mano a Mano Bolivia staff was able to attend).
Central Unificada 2 de Marzo
Central Unificada 2 de Marzo is a small community of 2,000 people (including the 10 small neighboring communities) in the municipality of Villa Puerto Villarroel, province of Chapare, department of Cochabamba, Bolivia. It is about 250 kilometers northeast of the city of Cochabamba, or a 5-hour drive from the city. 30% of Mano a Mano’s clinics are between a 3 and 10-hour drive away from Cochabamba – click here for an overview of where Mano a Mano clinics are located.
The climate in the region is tropical, with nearly constant rain, and most people make their living growing palm and citrus, and raising some livestock. More than 50% speak both Quechua and Spanish. The community has basic services – electricity, clean water, phone service, roads with access to neighboring communities, and a primary school for 220 students – but their clinic was in need of an upgrade.
Why the New Clinic Was Built
The new clinic replaces the previous clinic building, which was a very small space, inadequate for visitors, and uncomfortable working conditions for the medical staff on site. Construction on the new clinic began in November 2014; most of our clinic projects are built in about four months once funding is in place and the construction process begins.
With the new clinic, medical professionals working in the community will have a much more comfortable working environment (which is very important for retaining staff in isolated rural communities); community residents will have regular access to quality health care services provided through the Bolivian Health Ministry. Our clinic program’s approach is that health outcomes can be dramatically improved with simple yet effective interventions, beginning with the basic ability to consistently access quality services in their own communities (here is an overview of clinic activity from second quarter 2014 to give you an idea of what our clinics focus on).
As a Mano a Mano clinic, it will have Volunteer Health Promoter Training and Continuing Health Education workshops provided through our counterpart organization Mano a Mano Bolivia (learn more about our health education & training programs, and an overview of the 2014 programs, here); it will also receive equipment and supplies to ensure that it is fully-furnished, and is connected with Mano a Mano Bolivia medical staff via radio for help with any difficult cases or issues.
Working Together to Make These Projects Possible
Every project that Mano a Mano does, including this clinic in Central Unificada 2 de Marzo, depends on many people working together (read more about our partnership model here).
The Central Unificada 2 de Marzo clinic project was a collaboration with:
- our counterpart organization Mano a Mano Bolivia
- Gobierno Autonomo Municipal de Puerto Villarroel
- funding from Joseph and Charlotte Blitt
- the communities of Central Unificada 2 de Marzo
Thank you to everyone that worked together to make this project happen! Mano a Mano’s network of clinics provides health care access to more than 700,000 Bolivians and is nearing 1 million patient visits each year. The Central Unificada 2 de Marzo clinic joins this network and provides another 2,000 Bolivians with access to health care.