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Sosúa, Dominican Republic

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New clinic set to open in one of the poorest neighbourhoods

Island Impact Ministries is one of West Indies Real Estate's selected charities for this year. 

 
 
 
 
Gleaming in the bold Caribbean sun like a beautiful necklace of fine pearls lays the barrio of La Cienega.  Each pearl represents the reflection of a tiny tin roof, home to the true valuables of the Dominican Republic: the people who live there.  They are warm and friendly.  They are also very gracious to the many expatriates who call the North Coast Home. Unfortunately, their warmth doesn’t elevate them from the poverty they live in. Services such as education and health care are completely overwhelmed, with the government having to foot the bill for over 74% of the 8 million people who live there.  That’s where Island Impact and our partners come in.  In Jan 2009 Island Impact Ministries will purchase and begin construction in La Cienega of a clinic facility which will provide general medical services, dental care and eye care for the thousands of people who live there. 
 
This past week I had the privilege of beginning a census of the inhabitants of La Cienega.  Myself and two nurse practitioners from the states spent our days visiting each home in the community.  One hundred and fourteen families were interviewed, approximately 1/6th of the homes in the neighborhood.  The families were of Dominican and Haitian decent.  The head of household was between the ages of 20-50 years old.  The results were staggering!  Approximately 50 % of the homes were single parent homes.  The average # of children was three, of which only 10 % had vaccinations.  High blood pressure was rampant and mostly untreated.   And most residents reported going without health care because of the distance needed to travel in order to reach the nearest government clinic in Sabaneta-20 minutes away. 
 
“I have to leave early, just after the sun rises,” one woman told me.  “If you don’t get there very early you don’t get seen and the trip is for nothing.  I just pray that they will get better.”  Another woman fretted about her 10 year old who had epileptic seizures.  “I heard about your clinic in Maranatha, just this week.  When you passed by my neighbor said you could help me get the seizure medicine I need for my son, it’s so expensive.”
 
The case and the need are clear and we are here to meet it.  You can help and make a difference in the life of the people of La Cienega. Visit our web site and see the new video on La Cienega due to be posted Oct 20th.  There are loads of ways you can help and make a difference.  Remember- It Takes Team Work To Make the Dream Work. 
 
Kelli Nelson RN BSN-Co-Founder Island Impact Ministries
 
To find out more about the work of Island Impact Ministries, or to make a donation, click here.

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West Indies Real Estate    Calle David Stern 6, El Batey, Sosua, Dominican Republic
 
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