By Desi Stephens-
Two months ago we carried a report about the medical care offered under the direction of Dr. Francisco Castro. Dorie’s Promise recently announced a campaign to raise just over $32,000 by the end of 2011 for our medical program.
The reason is a decline in the general donations that are used to cover Dr. Castro’s salary, a nurse, equipment, hospital visits, and prescription medications.
“That may sound like a lot but when you break it down it is only about $73 per child each month to make sure all our children are receiving the best medical care possible,” says founder Heather Radu. “Our supporters have been so generous in the past that I am asking them to again consider a special gift.”
Guatemala continues to be a dangerous place to live, especially for children growing up as orphans. Some frightening statistics: a child is abandoned in Guatemala City every four days, more than 10 children die each week as a result of violence, and the nation has
an infant mortality rate of 36 percent.
Unlike the United States, there are few programs in Guatemala that provide quality medical care for children. That means it is expensive to visit the doctor or go to a hospital.
In addition, at public hospitals doctors are not able to provide quality care. Many children who go for simple illnesses do not always survive.
The hiring of Dr. Castro has its roots in a 2008 tragedy. A severe outbreak of Rotarius infection swept through Dorie’s Promise. More than 60 children became ill and were hospitalized. Though we worked hard to assure everyone recovered, we lost a child during this horrible outbreak.
“When that happened, I knew we needed to have a full-time doctor here on site,” Heather says. “We are responsible for too many children not to have a medical doctor always available to us.”
The value of having Dr. Castro on staff became quite apparent during September. Little Abraham has been consistently ill since he came to live with us last year. One night his Special Mother realized he was having trouble breathing and contacted the doctor.
Within 20 minutes Dr. Castro arrived to examine Abraham, who had a high fever and a terrible case of pneumonia.
Dr. Castro used our oxygen unit to help him breathe and then rushed him to a private hospital. Because of the physician’s actions, little Abraham is alive today.
This is a serious need. Imagine all the doctor visits you have for just one child—then multiply that by 40. Can you help? Click on the “Give Today” link above and then “Give a special gift for the ministry.”
If you can make a donation, it will be appreciated by every child who relies on our care to make it through his or her formative years.