Information part 2

THE RARAMURI OR TARAHUMARA PEOPLE TODAY

 

A demographic profile of our beneficiaries:

Even if we provide health services to everyone in dire need in this Tarahumara region, 95% of our beneficiaries would be Raramuri Indians –most of them children- from more than 200 very small communities, located in the municipalities of Guachochi, Bocoyna, Urique, Batopilas, Carichí, Témoris y Uruachi. All of them are subject to extreme poverty.

 

 

 

 

 

The Raramuri are one of the largest and most traditional Indian groups in Mexico. About sixty to sixty five thousand reside in the Tarahumara mountains and canyons. They have been basically corn and bean growers and goat shepherds for more than 450 years, but now their crops and animals are not enough for their subsistence. Because of that, there is acute poverty. Most of them have no access to clean water, health services, electricity or to the most basic means of communication such as roads. Some communities down in the canyons, when they bring their sick children to the hospital have to walk up to 8 hours just to get to the nearest road -to get a “lift”- or to a railroad station, and then continue on to Creel. 
 

Name and location of our main projects
 

Santa Teresita Hospital: Creel, Chihuahua.

Rejogochi Primary School: Rejogochi, Chihuahua.

Clean Water Project (offices and warehouse): Creel, Chihuahua.

Food for Work Program (offices and warehouse): Creel, Chihuahua.

Artesanías Mision Handicraft Shop: Creel, Chihuahua.

Loyola Museum: Cusárare, Chihuahua.
 

IMPACT ON OUR SORROUNDINGS

 

The Santa Teresita Hospital is the reference center for a region that comprises 7 of the must difficult, rugged and poor municipalities in our country. Some way or other, our programs reach more than 2,000 different families every year, (about 12,000 persons, which represents almost 20% of the Tarahumara population).

 

ACCOMPLISHMENTS OF THE SANTA TERESITA HOSPITAL

 

 

1- Without a doubt, our most important accomplishment is the more than 15,000 children and adult lives that we have saved from certain death (4,000 of them in the last 10 years). This means that we have saved at least one life every day during the past 45 years; most of them have been children under 5 years of age. Even if it is not the only factor, the hospital has been very significant in the huge drop in infant mortality (from 75 % in 1964 to around 20% today).

During 2010 we had 4,487 consultations (1,801 children); 342 emergencies; 616 hospitalizations; 6,609 laboratory studies; 1,030 X Rays plaques for 765 patients; and 13 deaths.

The main health problems and illnesses were undernourishment, tuberculosis, lung and other respiratory system problems, gastrointestinal infections or parasites, skin infections and burns from open fires.

During the last decade (2000-2010) the Hospital had 44,770 consultations (21,135 children) and 4,987 emergencies; 7,486 hospitalizations; 61,595 laboratory studies; 10,661 X Rays plaques for 8,843 patients, and 126 deaths.

 

2- Another important accomplishment is the progressive formation of an engaged and skilled staff that understands, respects and assumes the Raramuri culture and habits, and then adapts their medical knowledge and practices to their lifestyle.

We have now 75 people working directly at the hospital

  • 3 general physicians

  • 1 resident doctor from the National Institute of de Pediatrics (who is transferred every 4 months).

  • 2 medical students doing community service

  • 1 chemist in charge of the laboratory

  • 1 X rays technician

  • 8 graduated nurses

  • 8 student nurses.

  • 13 nurse auxiliaries

  • 13 Rarámuri nurse auxiliaries and translators.

  • 24 people in the other areas of service: 2 in the pharmacy, 4 in administration and reception, 11 in general services (cooking, cleaning, etc.), 2 drivers, 5 in maintenance.

  • 1 Hospital Director.

3- A third accomplishment has been making the hospital adapt more to the needs of the area and our patients. We now have a house and a dinning room where patients’ families can stay as long as needed. As well as several buildings to house doctors, nurses, students and visitors.

Today, the hospital has 77 beds, 30 for pediatrics hospitalization, 20 for adults, 3 for gynecology and obstetrics, 18 for children in nutrition and 6 for TB patients. We also have a laboratory for clinical analysis, an X ray room, an emergency room, a pharmacy and three offices for consultation. Plus we have everything needed for the hospital to function: a sterilization room, a kitchen to prepare the baby’s food and milk and keep it refrigerated, a general kitchen and dinning room for the hospital staff (we serve about 400 meals a day), a laundry room, etc. We also have an oxygen machine, incubators, an ambulance and other vehicles.

The hospital has been administered during the past 30 years by the Saint Vicente de Paul Daughters of Charity.
   
Ignacio when he arrived at the hospital                             Ignacio when he left the hospital

 

Other good side-effects of our accomplishments:

After all these years of work, the Raramuri have had unbounded trust and confidence in the hospital and, little by little, they ask for more treatment and medicine. They used to be very reluctant to go to hospitals and subject themselves to western medicine. But, because the Hospital adapted to their culture, they come to us more and more for care, support and hospitalization for themselves or their children (leaving them with us at the hospital sometimes for weeks, if they have to return to their communities to take care of their families or crops). They also understand now that they must follow-up with their treatments, even if they feel they are fully recovered. Thanks to the hospital and to the Raramuri nurses that go to their communities, they learnt to detect early symptoms and the severity of an illness. The hospital has definitely had an important impact on the overall health education of the communities. 

     

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