PQMD Member BD Brings Critical Medical Supplies to Guatemalan Hospital, Communities with Fellow PQMD Member Medical Teams International

Close your eyes and imagine a hospital. A few images may pop into your head. Clean white floors. Rooms with state-of-the-art equipment. Staff on the move around every corner.

When asked about the source of the equipment and supplies on a recent visit to the hospital, Nurse Department Director – Porfirio Aguilar, replied simply, “every donation we receive is sent to us through Medical Teams.” Pictured here, Aguilar talks to two Medical Teams staff members at National Hospital of Uspantán. (Photo courtesy Medical Teams International)

Walk through the stained hallways of the National Hospital in Uspantán, Guatemala, and reality will replace your expectations. In this remote part of the country where poverty is rampant, the hospital struggles to keep stock of the most basic medical tools.

While it’s hard to look past the rusted gurneys and delivery tables, outdated equipment, or the fact that the hospital is understaffed, there are signs of hope. And they come in boxes shipped from Medical Teams International.

When asked about the source of the equipment and supplies on a recent visit to the hospital, Nurse Department Director – Porfirio Aguilar, replied simply, “every donation we receive is sent to us through Medical Teams.”

Medical Teams International sends critical supplies and equipment to 20 health facilities in rural areas of Guatemala, serving a predominantly indigenous population. The National Hospital of Uspantán is one of these facilities. Without these donations, there’s no telling how people in the surrounding communities would survive basic medical emergencies. These donations come from generous partners like Becton Dickinson, who recently sent over $150,000 worth of life-saving medical supplies to the National Hospital of Uspantán, including syringes, IVs, and vital lab supplies.

Medical supply shelves in the National Hospital in Uspantán (Photo courtesy Medical Teams International)

On a return hospital visit, parent Juan and Lucia were delighted to find they did not need to bring supplies with them for their daughter’s surgery to repair an opening in her belly after an appendectomy.

“When we returned with my daughter to the hospital for her third surgery, I was surprised I wasn’t asked to contribute any medical supplies or equipment,” Juan says. “I asked the nurse if we should buy something, and she explained that an organization called Medical Teams International had donated many things so patients no longer had to buy them.”

In Guatemala, where the most vulnerable people bear the highest burden for health care, medical supplies mean the difference between life and death. Thankfully – donations from companies like Becton Dickinson and assistance from Medical Teams programs are increasing that likelihood towards life.

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