Rosendo, Segundo, Gladys and Maria make up the group of patients who we met at Mobile Clinics in the community of La Merced del Canton Alausi in the Chimborazo province. These communities, about three and a half hours from the nearest city, Riobamba, are known for their isolation and cold temperatures.
The clinics took place in the community school, and the patients arrived and were diagnosed by MEDLIFE doctors. During the exam, doctors observed a great deal of phlegm and strange noises coming from their lungs, symptoms which could indicate tuberculosis. They immediately contacted the closest public health center to carry out further tests.
At the end of the clinic week, MEDLIFE Director of Ecuador Martha Chicaiza got in touch with the director of the team in charge of tuberculosis at the hospital of the province. She explained MEDLIFE’s work, and in addition to thanking her, the doctor asked that she be kept informed of future clinics there, to better diagnose and treat people with tuberculosis, as well as educate them about how dangerous the disease can be and how to prevent it.
The next day, Martha contacted the three patients who appear to be suffering from tuberculosis in order to make a plan to help them. Martha committed to helping them by coming with them to the hospital to orient them, and they agreed. But the day of the appointment none of them showed. Martha didn’t let that discourage her; she contacted the municipality of Alausi, and they provided a car, which she took along with the doctor in charge of the tuberculosis program to test these people. On the day to do the visit, the car never came, and again Martha was left without a plan. But luckily she and the doctor ran into the provincial director of Chimborazo, who offered to take them in her own car, and then provide another car so that they could visit the patients and take the tests.
The test was taken, and she also took the chance to return the results for the pap smears from the Mobile Clinic.
According to the World Health Organization, Ecuador has an incidence of almost 6,000 new cases of tuberculosis each year.
Thanks to our Mobile Clinics, working in the most remote communities in Ecuador, MEDLIFE has joined to the fight against this illness by including Sputum tests for tuberculosis diagnosis as part of the Mobile Clinic routine.
Today after remembering everything she had to go through to examine these patients, Martha is happy to say that the results are in, and none of the patients have tuberculosis.