Medical care in limited resource environments are challenging in all the expected ways – limited equipment, minimal staffing, few medications – but also lack of access to specialty services. Too often physicians in health posts or well-meaning practitioners on medical campaigns refer a family to seek follow-up care for their child with a pediatrician or other sub-specialist. For many of these families, accessing care that may even be free or low-cost is still prevented by the barrier of travel costs and time away from work. Further adding to the challenge is that a sick or complex child is stressful to a medical provider not specifically trained in Pediatrics. This stress can lead to burnout and frustration on both the part of the medical staff and the families.
We propose to change that. Working directly with the Health Post in Chacraseca, we are going to enroll 150 – 175 children with chronic or complex medical needs in a longitudinal project to provide consultations on their care. Our team of pediatricians and nurses will review the cases, gather histories from parents, evaluate the patients and provide teaching to the families (including the patient when appropriate) and the local medical staff.
To make this project a success, we plan to conduct Pediatric specialty clinics organized by the Health Post three times a year. We will coordinate through the partnership of FNE, RGHA and the Health Post any relevant followup care, referrals and diagnostic studies and will actively participate in answering ongoing clinical questions in between visits. We will also teach the local medical staff and seek partnerships with the local medical school and pediatric community to share experience and knowledge. We believe that our efforts will build on and go beyond public health approaches of vaccination and health maintenance and address directly the complex medical needs of our patients.
SPTLN Coordinator: Dra. Marisol Moreira Ponce, M.D.