Coamed medical missions impact
Over the course of 5 years COAMED has provided life-changing services to thousands of children, adults, and seniors from the impoverished Islands of San Andres and Providencia, a remote Colombian territory, in the Caribbean. The volunteer work of our medical and dental specialists has changed the landscape of healthcare in the Islands where we work by training and educating local professionals and advocating for safe medical care practices.
Through these years of experience, COAMED has learned and benefited from the insight we have had into the needs of the patients we serve. The members of the communities we served allowed us the incredible privilege to learn about their lives and personal stories. Their hardship and gratitude keep us going: The mother in Providencia who have carried her son everywhere for nine years, due to the lack of a wheelchair tailored to his needs. The premature babies born in San Andres that were kept warm with the heat generated by an incandescent light bulb. The boy in Providencia who has never been able to do well in school because of his hearing impairment and the teasing by his peers due to his handicap. The nursing aide who helped us in several missions before she disclosed to us her hearing problem and told us, “I want each of the other people, especially children, to be helped before me. I don’t want them to live as I have lived.”
Medical services as we know them in the US are not available in the greater majority of our world. Only 4% of needed surgical procedures performed each year go to the poorest third of the global population1. Millions lack access to essential healthcare services in Colombia2. Hearing those facts is one thing, addressing the tremendous need is another.
At COAMED, we feel is our duty to reach as many patients as possible with the best quality of care possible. However, our social responsibility went beyond that. We have also made significant contributions to identify and propose solutions to the circumstances that act as barriers to access medical care.
For COAMED our fifth year anniversary marks not only a continued commitment to providing quality care to people in Colombia and around the world but also a renewed investment into finding the patients that need help the most, the ones that if we do not take care of them, nobody else will. With the aid of our members, volunteers and supporters like you, we will continue our commitment to heal people, change lives, transform families and expand our operations around the world.
With our deepest gratitude,
Hector Lozano, MD, MHA. Co-Founder & Board Member COAMED
- Weiser TG, Regenbogen SE, Thomson KD, et al. An estimation of the global volume of surgery: a modeling strategy based on available data. Lancet. 2008; 372: 139-44.
- Vargas J. Colombia: La Salud y la Seguridad Social en Salud Desde la perspectiva de Los Derechos Humanos (unpublished). The World Bank’s Social Development Department. Original case studies and documents are available at http://go.worldbank.org/P2LXPQU1Z0.