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Medical Outreach Transforms Lives in Bolivia

  • May 1, 2012

1,358 impoverished patients treated, 28 surgeries performed

americares quoteYou have given me a new life. Gracias, gracias, gracias from my heart.”


Nicanor, a 57-year-old farmer from rural Bolivia, works ten grueling hours in the field each day, six or seven days each week. Even so, he earns barely enough to feed his three children and four grandchildren, let alone pay for necessities such as clothing, education and health care.

Unfortunately, Nicanor also needed surgery for an inguinal hernia, a serious medical condition that can cause life-threatening complications. His surgery was cost-prohibitive, leaving Nicanor suffering with daily pain and a potentially worsening health problem.

Life took a hopeful turn for Nicanor in late 2011, thanks to Dr. Steven Bujewski and a team of 20 doctors and nurses from Solidarity Bridge, who traveled to the Hospital de Los Yungas in Bolivia. The team, supported by AmeriCares Medical Outreach Program, treated 1,358 patients and performed 28 surgeries, including Nicanor’s hernia repair. The Medical Outreach Program supplied the Solidarity Bridge team with primary care medicines and surgical mesh, a key hernia repair device.

Each year, the Medical Outreach Program supplies products for more than 1,500 trips to approximately 75 countries where basic health care is unavailable or unaffordable. AmeriCares donations cure infections, relieve pain, help patients manage chronic diseases and make life-changing surgeries possible. The Illinois-based Solidarity Bridge is one of many health care organizations partnering with AmeriCares to bring crucial medicines and care to people in need.

I thank all the doctors and nurses of Solidarity Bridge and the donors who have made it possible for me to have my surgery—something I could never afford,” said Nicanor. “You have given me a new life. Gracias, gracias, gracias from my heart.”

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