Free primary care (including general medicine, gynecology and pediatrics)
Free dental and ophthalmology services
Free infirmary and emergency care
Health education programs, hypertension and diabetes control support groups, an anti-parasite program and a vaccination program
Funds surgeries such as hysterectomies, kidney transplants, gallbladder removals, joint replacements and pacemaker insertions
A volunteer program for American and Bolivian physicians, nurses, medical students and other healthcare workers
Centro Medico Humberto Parra is a community medical clinic located in the rain forest in eastern Bolivia, 72 miles outside of Santa Cruz, the largest city in the country.
Our goal is to improve the health and overall quality of life of the surrounding communities by providing first-rate medical care and other health services. It is the only free medical clinic in the surrounding 40,000 person area.
The Daniels Hamant Foundation of River Forest, IL funds and helps manage Centro Medico. The Daniels Hamant Foundation relies exclusively on private donations, and the Centro Medico Humberto Parra is heavily dependent on volunteer physicians and healthcare workers from the US and Bolivia.
We had just unloaded all the furniture and equipment for the brand new Centro Medico Humberto Parra. We had put the chairs and desks and examining tables into the rooms in the clinic and were exhausted. Tomorrow was to be the "Opening Ceremonies" for the clinic. There was no electricity and we were about to go over to the living quarters to eat. But...in comes this young man with a chest x-ray in his hand. "But we aren't open yet!" He wasn't fazed. He also had no idea what was going on. He was told by a doctor in Buena Vista that the American doctors at that new clinic would take care of him. And so we did. The first thing that struck us was that this young man was huffing and puffing with little to no exertion. The skin color of this indigenous Bolivian was actually a shade lighter than that of us gringos taking care of him. He related that about a month ago he had been bitten by a snake and generally was just feeling worse and worse through the ensuing weeks. On examination, he had a pulse of about 120, crackles to the apices of his lungs, a loud summation gallop, and marked peripheral edema. The chest x-ray confirmed the pulmonary edema. It was clear that he needed to be hospitalized so we put him in the SUV, gave him some IV furosemide, and took off for Santa Cruz. One of our first patients - and boy was he sick!
Dengue fever is a virus transmitted by mosquito and one of the most common infectious diseases in tropical areas. Symptoms include fever, headache, muscle and joint pain, and rashes....Read More
Diabetes is a primary health concern in Bolivia, particularly in the department of Santa Cruz where Centro Medico is located. Nearly 11% of the local population has diabetes compared to 5% in US....Read More
More than 10 million Latin Americans are infected with Trypanasoma cruzi, the parasite that causes Chagas disease. Chagas is a disease of poverty and most often afflicts populations like the one served by Centro Medico....Read More