Wow, time flies! It's been awhile since I've been able to sit down and write up a post. Much has happened in the last few weeks.
This will be a very exciting update because we've been able to make some pretty significant progress on the clinic! We just got the news a few days ago, the building is 100% finished! We had been waiting on a contractor to finish up the sub ceiling in one of the bathrooms, and he was finally able to come back and install the last few pieces this week. This means that the building is completely ready for us to start purchasing equipment.
Before we start swiping the ondawave credit card for some medical supplies, we first need to get in contact with the government to make sure we stock the right equipment for this to become a sponsored clinic. The Dominican Ministry of Public Health has a list of requirements that we will need to purchase in order to be ready to receive nurses and doctors from them. We have been able to meet with another nonprofit in the area called Caritas, which has a lot of connections with the government. Caritas has done some work in Angostura previously. They had helped the community put in a gravity fed water reserve system a few years back. Through one of the community leaders, Luis, we learned of Caritas and were able to meet with them.
Caritas is an international organization that has some pretty close ties to the Dominican government. They were able to communicate with them about the clinic and request some information surrounding the requirements of the clinic. Unfortunately, the Dominican Ministry of Public Health had not been quick to respond. As you may know, this February the Dominican government suspended municipal elections only a few hours after the polls opened. This is the first time this has happened in all of Dominican history, so the government is currently in a state of chaos. Not to worry though! Our new friends at Caritas have set up clinics in Santiago before and are going to show us around one. There are a lot of supplies that we can get for the clinic that aren't directly medically related. The waiting room and doctor's quarters will need to be furnished, and those are supplies we can buy right now. Caritas is willing to assist us in purchasing the supplies, and will even take us to a store where they have developed a relationship to facilitate the delivery of these items.
As of right now, we are working on scheduling a time with Caritas to walk through their clinic in Santiago. So more to come with that!
BUT WAIT, There's more! Ondawave was able to sponsor 3 community members to attend a Pharmacy Technician class in Puerto Plata, and COOPADA (an Angosturan Cooperative) is sponsoring one more! That mean in a few months Angostura will have 4 trained and certified Pharmacy Technicians who can work in the functional clinic.
So to summarize: the building is finished, four Pharmacy Techs are being trained now, and we are ready to start buying furniture and equipment. We are all excited about the progress and will continue to update all of you as we check off more items on our to do list. Thanks for reading!