In 1993, Ak’ Tenamit opened a clinic on the banks of the Río Dulce to help improve the region’s alarming health conditions. Medical care is (and still is) nearly non-existent and people traveled hours, sometimes days, for the most basic medicine. Consequently, the region faces:
Our health program began as a riverside medical clinic and has grown exponentially, now encompassing a floating dental clinic, and women’s health service. By offering community health awareness workshops and training local health promoters we have been able to have a significant impact with very limited financial resources.
Ak’ Tenamit provides 24-hour care in its riverside health clinic. Patients receive consultations and medications at no cost. It is staffed by an experienced team of local, Q’eqchi’ health promoters and international medical volunteers. We provide treatment and care in the following areas:
At times, patients arrive at the clinic in critical condition or complications arise during treatment. In these cases our doctors transport the patient to the nearest hospital via speedboat. Without this service it would be impossible for the patient to receive emergency care because they do not have the means to reach the hospital. Watch one of our doctors explain the barriers that prevent patients from going to the hospital.
Unfortunately, the clinic often lacks funding for the gasoline needed to make the 1.5 hour boat ride to the hospital and must dock at the municipal Health Center (half-way to the hospital). Here, doctors examine the patient to determine whether hospital care is needed and if so, absorb the gasoline costs to transport the patient from the municipality to the hospital. This process wastes critical time and endangers the patient, especially those with head wounds, because s/he must be moved from boat to boat. You can save lives by supporting our ambulance program.
The clinic actively works to educate communities about healthcare, nutrition, and hygiene. Doing so empowers locals, themselves, to improve health conditions in their own communities now and in the future.