In this edition, the Life Stories testimony has a different feel. We asked Plácido Orosa Fernández, doctor and president of the Spain-based non-governmental organization (NGO) Viviendas para Los sin Techo (Houses for Those without Houses) to give us a testimony based on his observations and experience walking through the Zonas de la Perimetral Noroeste (poor zone in northwest Guayaquil) and in HdC.
“I just got back from Ecuador where I stayed a few days, specifically in Guayaquil; it had been two years since I last visited and I wanted to see the global evolution due to time and distance.
I started visiting the heath sub-centers along poor zones in northwest Guayaquil. I met with doctors and nurses who, even with little economic means, still offered poor patients quality attention, without complaints and happy to be helping.
The conversations with them gave light to the reality of the perception of the poor. It is one of misery and illnesses of all kinds. Much of the problem comes from the quality of life these people lives, with psychic and physical issues, malnutrition, lack of exercise and inability to pay for treatments. Some suffer from obesity, diabetes and hypertension due to the excessive consumption of fats and carbohydrates.
I have seen the determination that professionals and volunteers have at HdC to better the situation of the poor based on dedication, vocation, care and affection. Deep down problems of poverty, insecurity and lack of culture still persist, but there is a general interest in helping to find solutions to these problems.
Efforts and ideas focused on modernizing the health sub-centers will to better the health of the people. Recently, electrocardiogram machines were installed in the sub-centers and in the near future an echocardiograph will also be installed for the volunteer doctors and specialists.
I observed that there is an interest in bettering the quality of life as seen in the creation of the new “mechanical cows” that produce soy milk as a solution to the lack of adequate nutrition.
Information gained from nutritionists will help make the food supply in Guayaquil more rational and varied and will surely start to fix the issue of obesity, Guayaquil’s truest plague.
All of this has happened because of the renovation of design and structures to several NGO’s.
Everything I have seen on this trip makes me think that this charity is like a growing island that contains a glowing illusion and can serve as an example to keep fighting against poverty, not just in Ecuador but in every poor nation of the world”