Day Seven : Santa Cruz
I had to get to the clinic early this morning, so I told Gonzalo to meet me after the cataract surgeries were finished.
The theatre is quite small and there’s only one room used for operations, which limits the clinic’s capacity somewhat but I was able to go in and take a few photographs.
After breakfast I met up with Gonzalo and we returned to Aprecia to interview the Theatre Manager and some of the other staff members involved in the surgical unit of the hospital, including Fernando – one of Aprecia’s Trainee Surgeons (pictured).
The hospital does have some boarding facilities for the poorer visitors to the clinic who don’t live or have friends and relatives in the surrounding area. I found that the shade of the courtyard played host to people escaping the heat and taking advantage of the drinks that are often served there. In this relaxed atmosphere, the young girls sit on the benches to chat and braid each-others hair whilst waiting for relatives.
Gonzalo and I were pleased to be joined at lunch by staff member Milton. We were grateful that he could take time away from his busy office to talk to explain some of the problems and challenges that Aprecia has faced in the past and those that it is still overcoming today. CBM has made an incredible difference to Aprecia already through your generous donations but there is still much more that can be done here to help treat and support this close-knit community and avoid blindness.