Zumbahua, Ecuador Site
Baystate Medical Center has developed an affiliation with a hospital in Zumbahua, Ecuador. Residents and pediatric generalists and sub-specialists, nurse educators, nutritionists, physical and occupational therapists, dentists and other health care providers are invited to volunteer for a minimum of one month and receive room and board in return. The ability to speak Spanish and an interview are required.
Claudio-Benati Hospital & Community Health Center
- 12,000 feet high in the Andes
- Remote, mountainous region
- Indigenous Quechua-speaking population (spelled Kichwa in Ecuador)
- Outpatient clinic and emergency room
- 35 bed inpatient hospital including pediatrics, OB and newborn care
- Basic lab and radiology
- Outreach programs
- Nutrition program
- Dental program with outreach
- Infectious diseases and malnutrition are leading causes of morbidity and mortality
There are a wide array of tasks for volunteers to do while working at Claudio-Benati Hospital:
- Daily rounds
- Attend deliveries
- Work in the outpatient clinic and/or ER
- Join an outreach team working with a specific program (TB, malnutrition, dental, etc)
- Home visits
- Teaching to groups of health care providers, teachers, etc.
- Work on a nutrition project/intervention
Staff & Living
There are four physicians, two dentists, two midwives and a wonderful and dedicated staff of nurses that are excellent resources for visiting health care providers. Since many of them live in larger cities, there is a house on the hospital grounds where they live while working. Volunteers also stay in this house which has multiple bunk bed rooms, hot water and a cook that prepares two hearty meals daily.
During time off, there are opportunities for hiking, walking to nearby villages, visiting the orphanage and attending the large, open-air market on Saturdays.