Outreach clinics in the small rural villages around Paria.

The concept of medical outreach started in 2009 when Dr Jon was able to visit some of villages and run health clinics, free of charge.

Opening day of medical clinic in Paria, Bolivia
Dr Cortez, the mayor of Oruro’s representative for health, welcomes patients and staff on opening day 9 July 2010.

Outreach clinics gave some people the first opportunity of a health check for many years.

As mid-2010 fast approached and with it Dr Jon’s return to the UK, we wanted a way to continue the health aspect of our work on a more permanent basis. This meant a change of approach and a move to get Bolivian doctors and nurses more involved in our work.

In July 2010 we were able to found the diabetes centre of Oruro. What started as a dirty store room, a small annex to an existing health centre, changed into the fabulous facility that we have today. There is no doubt that without the hard work, energy and dedication of a team of young volunteers from Paria, we would never have been able achieve such an incredible facelift in such a short space of time.

Project Paria helps to fund the salaries of 2 doctors, 3 nurses and an administrator to run the centre. We attend to hundreds of patients every month and are able to provide free consultations and medications to the very poorest.

We are able to do all this with a grant from Project Paria of around £750 per month.

Young woman on an exercise bicycle
Individual effort

We aim to each patient a high level of care and continue to provide education and information about diabetes to as many people as possible.

We concentrate on encouraging the patients to make changes to their own lifestyles that will help them to manage their diabetes and our nurses never miss an opportunity to talk to patients about this aspect of the disease.

Dance class
With a little help in a dance class

Dr Jon also used to run a clinic in the main old people’s home in Oruro. This is a centre run by a group of 12 nuns and is funded entirely by charitable donations. Over 100 elderly people rely on this home and the nuns provide food, shelter and warmth for some of the most vulnerable people in this society. Christina Dorado, a Bolivian nurse, received funding from Project Paria to continue to provide this support until 2015, when the home received additional funding to hire a full time nurse. Cristina now works part time as a community nurse, assisting vulnerable seniors in communities in and around Paria.