School Medical Clinic
As part of the TEARS School, medical care is provided on a weekly basis by a local pediatrician, Dr. Norma, who generously gives her time to help the children and their families. Those living in Maria Auxiliadora suffer from many health problems; however, the amount of need greatly surpasses the number of available medical professionals. For this reason, the School Medical Clinic provides basic care in a community facing a range of otherwise neglected diseases, health conditions, and other medical problems.
Health and Wellness Center
Partners in Deed Society of Alberta (www.partnersindeed.com) and the T.E.A.R.S.
Foundation (www.tears.org) are collaborating to establish a Health and Wellness
Centre in the underserved community of Maria Auxiliadora, Dominican Republic.
This neighbourhood of approximately 12,000 residents (near the city of La Vega) is
considered to be one of the most impoverished areas within the Dominican Republic.
The barrio is comprised mainly of families displaced by Hurricane David (1979) and
lacks infrastructural support.
For over 16 years Partners in Deed and T.E.A.R.S. have worked together on a broad
range of long-term, community development programs that are greatly improving
the lives of youth and their families living in Maria Auxiliadora. Programs include
high quality education programs (preschool to high school) for ~600 children, a water purification plant, sports and leadership programs, camp programs, relief projects, and a microfinance initiative. Partners in Deed and T.E.A.R.S. are now looking to establish a community-based Health and Wellness Centre to address the unmet health priorities in this low-income, low-resource community.
This impoverished population suffers from a disproportionate amount of health challenges that remain undertreated or untreated. Common health issues include malnourishment, parasitic diseases, mental health conditions, insect-born diseases, chronic dermatological issues, dental and vision conditions, early-age pregnancy, and major chronic diseases (e.g., asthma, diabetes and hypertension).
The goal is to provide a community-based primary health care facility that addresses inequities in care, focuses on community-identified priorities, and uses a determinants of health framework. Programs will focus on health promotion, health education, early childhood interventions, illness prevention, screening, and treatment. Accessible, affordable programs will be key features of the Health and Wellness Centre.
The low construction costs for the Health and Wellness Centre are guided by T.E.A.R.S. experience in using recycled shipping containers to build innovative structures. In 2017, T.E.A.R.S, with the assistance of global partners, built a high school for the community using recycled shipping containers. Working with Hebner Innovative Solutions (www.hiscontainers.com) T.E.A.R.S. was able to train and employ local workers to build the school comprised of 21 used shipping containers. The school currently has nine classrooms, administrative offices, a computer lab, sports hall and cafeteria. The project took only 12 weeks to complete and came in under budget.
T.E.A.R.S. is now embarking on a capital funding campaign for
a Health and Wellness Centre that will be built upon the
existing school structure. There is currently space above the
administrative offices to hold the dental, counselling and
health facilities. The project will employ local workers
experienced in using shipping-container technology. The
Centre will focus on the health of the T.E.A.R.S. School youth
and their impoverished families (>2,000 people) and will be
locally led by experienced health and education professionals.
This Centre will also be a capacity-building teaching site where trainees in medicine, dentistry, nursing, psychology, and allied health care will be trained in evidence-based primary health care. Care will be team-based where health programs and services will be developed and operated using the full scope of practice for all health professionals involved.
The Health and Wellness Centre campaign will run from July 1st to December 31st, 2019 with a projected cost to build and equip the Centre at a cost of $95,000 CDN. As of October 2019 >50% of the needed funds have been raised.
All Canadian donations are eligible for CRA tax receipts and will be issued by Partners in Deed, an Alberta-based registered charity that has a long-term partnership with T.E.A.R.S. For more information about the project please contact Gary Dzurka @ 403-992-3334
If you wish to donate to this project, please click DONATE below