Year End Update - 2020 We hope everyone had a great, covid-safe Thanksgiving! In August we decided to start sharing with you updates on health, covid and the East Cape Health Center.
On the covid front: we are seeing a few cases of covid in our community. La Paz hospitals are reporting surges. Cabo, interestingly is not as they do testing and tracing and hence their numbers are much lower. To this point, if you need a covid test, please call us to make an appointment (624.124.8203). We offer both the Rapid and PCR covid tests. Lastly, continue to be extra cautious. Many people are asking about covid testing now that friends and family are coming to visit. CDC recommendations are to quarantine until 3-5 days after arrival when you can get tested. After you test you have to wait 24-48 hours for results before taking your mask off and joining your family at the dinner table.
So, what is a family to do when a loved one is only coming to visit for a few days? We recommend getting tested before you arrive. Do not travel until you have received your negative test result. During travel, wear a mask, stay at least 6 feet away from people who are not travelling with you, wash your hands often and watch your health for signs of illness. After you get back to the States, get tested AND stay home 7 days after travel. If you don't get tested, it's safest to stay home for 14 days.
We are excited about the news that the Pfizer vaccine is coming to here soon. It has arrived in Mexico City and Monterrey. Frontline workers and those over 60 will be vaccinated first. We don't have all the details yet about how they will distribute the vaccine but we are hopeful! As we learn more about this progress, we will share it with you. Please follow our facebook page for updates: https://www.facebook.com/eastcapehealthcenter
Not covid but equally important – get your flu shot this year! The flu vaccine is more important than ever this year, not just for your health, but to help healthcare professionals diagnose and rule out other illnesses. In October we ordered 40 influenza vaccines. We have used all of the first batch and ordered more, but these will likely go quickly. Please let us know if you want to order your vaccine for this season (624.124.8203).
We have a new Doctor in our community! Dr. Christopher Gonzalez started on Dec 1. We are very excited to have him joining our team. Dr. Chris comes from H+ ER and we are grateful to have him here. In addition to emergency experience Dr. Chris has a wealth of general practice experience – including midwifery 😊. On top of this he is an all-around nice guy. Please come in to meet him.
Many of our patients decided to stay here in Baja this year. Rather than returning to the North for their annual medical checkup, many decided to take advantage of our Passport to Health program. This is a great means for you to get a full check-up. The complete physical exam includes an array of labs, EKG, chest X-Ray, and an optional ultrasound.
On a prior Update, we announced our new TeleHealth program in El Cardonal. Maria Alondra “Paloma” has joined our team as our community health contact through the Sub Delegation in El Cardonal. Paloma is the daughter of the Subdelegada in El Cardonal and is currently in virtual high school via Los Barriles.
She started volunteering with Proteccion Civil in 2019 and really enjoys helping her community. She says the telehealth program has helped people save time and money by providing them direct communication with a doctor via our devices. When she graduates high school, she wants to join the military and study aviation. In the meantime, we love having her and so does the El Cardonal community.
In 2020 we asked for assistance to keep our doors open. And the response was amazing and we were able to remain open to assist the community through the health challenges of 2020. We are no longer concerned for our ability to keep the doors open yet we are now seeking assistance for some improvements to our Health Center in order to provide more services to our community:
Laboratory Equipment: Over the last couple years, we have made great improvements in our Lab. The changes that we have made have greatly enhanced health services within our community. Many lab services can now be done here locally rather than having them performed elsewhere, saving money and more importantly time as diagnosis can be provided almost instantly rather than in a couple days. Lastly, the lab has been a valuable sustenance component for the East Cape Health Center. We are now looking to further our capabilities here with microbiology assays as well as cardiac and hormone testing.
X-Ray: Over the summer, our 20 year old Bennett X-Ray machine was out of operation for two months. We have had it repaired and now although much of the equipment is brand new, we recognize how critical this component is and we are looking to purchase a an additional X-Ray machine. The new X-Ray that we are looking for will be digital and portable to enable us to take X-Rays in the emergency room – during a crisis. And it will serve as a valuable back up.
Surge Protection: The reason that our X-Ray machine failed was that we were hit with a power surge during use. We have independent surge protection for most of our equipment but the individual protectors do not provide the suitable protection that we need for some of our more sensitive equipment. Our equipment repair team has recommended that we install a whole service surge protector to cover everything in the clinics. With the power problems that we have in the area, this is an unfortunate priority.
Surgery Center: We are currently investigating opening an ambulatory surgical center. Our thinking is that our visiting Doctors would provide minor surgical procedures including: arthroscopies, biopsies, laparoscopies, colonoscopies, endoscopies, plastic surgery, and a variety of female health procedures will be conducted here in Los Barriles rather than Cabo or La Paz. Just imagine having these procedures available locally and then recovering in the comfort of your home.
These above improvements are expensive but will be invaluable for our community. If you would like to help us in this mission, please contact Char (624.157.0081) and/or visit our website: www.EastCapeHealthCenter.org/donate
We hope that you enjoy these updates and we wish you the best Holiday Season. We will keep you in our prayers, much love – the East Cape Health Center team.
Thank you for your support and Feliz Navidad!