Every few months for the past 30 years, Lucile Packard Children's Hospital pediatrician Paul Wise, MD, MPH, has traveled to rural Guatemala to provide health care to the impoverished people there. (The video above captures one of his recent visits.) Since 2004, Wise has brought Stanford students along to help, and today's Stanford Report provides an update on the current group's trip:
It's been a wet and road-weary welcome for the Stanford students who arrived last weekend to provide healthcare and study the medical services available to residents of this poverty-stricken city and its surrounding villages.
Under the guidance of... Wise, the group of medical students, as well as undergraduates chosen by the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies, are seeing firsthand what it takes to provide medical care to the rural poor in a developing country wracked by decades of civil war, political corruption and the violence of a growing drug trade.
The maladies they'll be treating are some of the most common - colds, stomach viruses, diarrhea, asthma, malnutrition and skin conditions. In developed countries, those problems can be easily fixed or avoided with regular medical care or a quick trip to a doctor.
But around San Lucas and much of Guatemala, medical services and healthcare providers are sparse. The Stanford group is teaming up with some of the local promotores, the 30 volunteers from the neighboring villages who encourage people to seek medical care and help them get the medical attention they need.
The students are blogging about their experiences here.