Our Medical and Dental Clinic aims to provide reliable and affordable local health care to adults and children in the Palajunoj Valley.
Primeros Pasos originally started as a children’s clinic with the mission to serve students in the 10 primary schools in the Valley. However, the general population remained without a good source of health care. In 2005, with increased funding and volunteers, we began to see walk-in patients, including children not enrolled in school and adults. On average, our Clinic sees 4,000 walk-in patients annually.
Although the Valley is home to one government-sponsored health post, the resources they offer are inadequate to serve the health needs of the population. Primeros Pasos offers medical, pharmaceutical and lab services, and we are also the only dental provider in the entire Valley. We staff medical professionals in addition to hosting medical students completing clinical rotations. We ensure that patients have access to complete quality care at affordable prices with enough staff to see patients in a timely manner.
Most commonly, our Clinic staff sees patients with respiratory illnesses, intestinal infections and parasites, malnutrition, dermatological issues, and hypertension. For many patients, this is their first time receiving comprehensive care.
Our Women’s Clinic provides essential, women specific healthcare in the Palajunoj Valley.
In 2009, Primeros Pasos received donations of medical supplies specifically related to women’s health, helping us to establish our Women’s Clinic. With the help of volunteers and clinic staff, the services that we provide to women have continued to expand. Today women visit our clinic for routine breast and cervical cancer screenings, pre- and post- natal care, pregnancy tests and STD treatment, and consults about family planning.
Reproductive health is often a taboo subject in Guatemala and few women are encouraged to talk to doctors about women’s health related problems. Primeros Pasos is fortunate enough to have a female doctor on staff that is dedicated to serving women in rural communities and building trust with her patients. Our Women’s Health Education Program members make up a large portion of our patients, and also act as ambassadors in their communities to tell other women about the importance of the services we offer.
In 2011, we hosted an OB/GYN Health Week and saw over 40 women in the area. Annually, the Women’s Clinic has approximately 70 patients. For most, this vital service provides a type of care they have not received before.