Community Medical Center

From our very beginnings, CCF has sought not only to serve the hundreds of children to whom we provide security and education, but also to expand our assistance to their families and their communities. Now that commitment has found expression in our new Community Medical Center, a four room on-site clinic made possible through the generous gifts of donors Bill Casey and Bob Tufts.

Resourceful local doctors, nurses and a rotating volunteer staff of international medical professionals currently staff the clinic, providing free consultations and medicines to more than 900 impoverished patients every month. The conditions and illnesses the patients present reflect the hard lives and taxing circumstances of life on the fringe of a rubbish dump. Once pervasive smoke has taken its toll on lungs. Glass and jagged debris exact an age-indiscriminate toll on flesh and bone. Inadequate diets leave their life-shortening marks, and the lack of proper sanitation in this struggling society is almost custom designed for ease-of-transmission of infection and illness. “One of the most important things we can do here,” says Dr. Kristin Schroeder, “is to educate. To teach people how to develop good hygiene habits.”

In addition to treating patients, volunteer physicians fill a pedagogical role for CCF healthcare and childcare staff. Along with the keys to necessary inputs and interventions, topics in the weekly training sessions cover first aid, hygiene and patient assessment. “Some lessons might seem simple – sneezing into your arm, instead of your hand,” says Schroeder. “But it makes a difference. Ultimately, we want to give the staff the understanding and tools they need to better identify critical cases.”

Evenings at the Community Medical Center often find founder Scott Neeson distributing nutritional weight-gain supplement drinks to malnourished children from the area. “It’s one of the best parts of my day,” he says, pouring formula into the cups of patiently waiting children. One by one they thank him, then gulp their drinks and run off to the Community Center playground. “This Medical Center is so important,” he adds. “Every day it’s saving lives.” CCF is enormously grateful to those who made it possible.

 

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