Relying on your donations to cover the cost of shipping, VIDA has coordinated 5 jam packed containers to Chile since February 27th, carrying over $7 million in desperately needed medical supplies and equipment. These shipments were directed to clinics and hospitals in the most impacted areas in Southern Chile and impoverished suburbs of Santiago.
VIDA is working with FEDES Foundation, our partner in Chile, to establish and support rural hospital and clinics in underserved markets. The inequality of care between urban and rural areas is a systemic problem in Chile and is a glaring example of one of the highest, and growing, wealth disparities in the western hemisphere. This factor is greatest among the indigenous groups, whose health risk indications are already far higher than non-indigenous populations'. A large portion of Chile's population lives in rural areas and depends on rural primary care centers for its health care. Outside of the developed urban areas, access to healthcare is severely limited with many people travelling for hours by foot to receive treatment. In these districts there is a predominance of infectious diseases and basic health care goals are much more difficult to achieve.The earthquake destroyed infrastructure, leaving many rural communities even more isolated than previously and has decreased the poor’s access to healthcare. VIDA and FEDES our planning to establish 12 health clinics that will be supported by a Chilean physician group who will staff the clinics on a rotating basis. The project is currently identifying facilities to house the clinics and also exploring various mobile clinic options. The program is launching its first major fundraising effort in May 2011 at an even in California’s wine country that is home to many Chilean vintners.
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