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The Val De Marne Clinic

EL ESPINO—The people come in from the hills, from miles down the coast, to see the doctor at the Val de Marne clinic. They line up, sitting in flimsy white plastic chairs in the blue-painted breezeway with their cuts and sicknesses, their ailing children. Dr. Ernesto Quinteros sees them one by one, taking their vitals, beginning charts on them, often for the first time in their lives. He writes prescriptions, which are filled at the next table by pharmacist Roxanna Sabala. They are for simple medicines, but they are all he has and often he has none at all. Today, at least, is different, for the SARA team has brought suitcases filled with well over $3,000 of over-the-counter medications and other medical supplies.
John Gilberg of New Bremen, Ohio, SARA Director for El Salvador took a moment from unloading the cases of supplies and explained, “This clinic was built by a French organization and SARA has been involved here since 2004. At that time the CRD (A Salvadoran NGO) asked us to support two doctors and two health care workers to be here several days a week. The only hospitals are at least 30 miles away in Usulatan and there is no good transportation there. This provides some good basic services but there is no advanced care anywhere nearby.”

 The people wait, talk, the women hold each other’s babies. They look with hope and fear at the doctor as he looks in their eyes and ears, wraps the blood pressure cuff around their arms and pumps the bulb. He writes something on a paper few of them can read and they take it to the pharmacist a few feet away and she fills paper pokes with a variety of pills and tells them how to take them. One by one they wander off down the dusty road, back to their homes, hoping that they will be cured.

Salvadoran girls waiting to see the Doctor at the Val de Marne Clinic

A mother and her baby boy wait to see the Doctor.

Dr. Ernesto Quinteros takes the vitals of a man at the Val de Marne clinic near El Espino which receives funding and equipment from SARA.

A girl with severe developmental disabilities waits to see the Doctor.

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