With the support of the Astellas Global Health Foundation (AGHF), Americares is working to eliminate the barriers that often keep many families in rural El Salvador from accessing the health care they desperately need. AGHF recently awarded Americares $600,000 to support its health and resiliency programming in El Salvador, helping to ensure the health-focused relief and development organization can continue providing quality health services for vulnerable families like Susy’s.
When Susy’s 4-year-old son Julio* began showing serious respiratory symptoms, she rushed him to Americares Clinica Integral de Atención Familiar in Santiago de Maria, for treatment. After being examined and diagnosed with bronchitis, she was relieved to learn her son’s illness was mild and not a serious cause for concern. Susy is extremely grateful to Americares for keeping the clinic doors open and being, “at the ready to provide services for Salvadorans.”
Although the family lives near a health center in their rural community of Tecapán, services are limited and often require patients to wait long hours to be treated. At the Americares Family Clinic, Susy and her children receive, “faster, personalized and comprehensive care.”
The funds also allow Americares Family Clinic in Santiago de Maria to continue operating in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, providing essential primary care services as well as playing a critical role in preventing the spread of the virus. The clinic staff is screening patients with possible infections and referring them for testing.
Not only did Susy’s son receive the care and medication needed to treat his respiratory infection, the entire family learned about the importance of handwashing and how to protect themselves from COVID-19. Over the years, the family has also benefitted from the clinic’s robust health education programs including prenatal care education for Susy and child development programs for her children.
The clinic, staffed by a dedicated group of local doctors, dentists, a psychologist, registered nurses and licensed technicians, provides more than 78,000 patient consultations for children and adults each year. For the most vulnerable, the clinic provides a unique poverty access fund, and for remote communities, outreach teams that bring health services to patients where they live. The fund increases access to care for 1,000 patients from the poorest communities in Eastern El Salvador. Patients receive transportation to the clinic as well as consults, diagnostic testing, treatment and follow-up care, all free of charge.
The Astellas Global Health Foundation’s donation will also provide rural health centers in El Salvador with training to better prepare for future disasters and support community outreach programs that bring health services to patients where they live. This donation builds upon a long-standing relationship between Americares and the Astellas Global Health Foundation’s legacy philanthropic entity, the Astellas USA Foundation. The legacy Foundation has provided financial support for Americares disaster relief efforts and its health programs for people affected by poverty or disaster since 2015.
*Indicates a name has been changed.