Day One : Trinidad
I arrived early in the morning at Trinidad in Bolivia, and after dumping my bags at the hotel I went straight out into the muggy tropical air to visit the first of the projects that I had been sent to report on.
The Clinic wasn’t too far out of town and I bounced along in an old Nissan Sunny to where the new hospital had just been built, complete with an Operating Theatre that provides a much needed service of advanced medical care in the area.
The clinic saves money by making ear moulds that a local dentist helped to design. He came up with a way of making them locally using his knowledge as an orthodontist. His design has helped the clinic to cut the cost of importing them in from elsewhere.
A lot of new equipment has just been set up within the clinic, which is helping to measure a patient’s level of deafness with a greater accuracy than ever before. This in turn is helping the medical staff to better appreciate each individual situation and come to a more informed decision regarding possible treatment.
Diego Santana and his wife Joanna, are part of the board that run the clinic. Joanna works in the logistical side of things whilst Diego consults patients throughout the day. Their daughters attend the local primary schools and are growing up as half Scottish and half Spanish children in Bolivia.
After lunch with Diego and Joanna, I visited a primary school to see a little boy who, though almost totally deaf through meningitis, has been integrated into one of the classes there.