When Operación San Andrés came to Collique in 2003, it was evident that residents had inadequate health care. To address this, our mission trips have included medical clinics staffed by physicians, nurses, and lay volunteers. Since 2004, we have provided more than 40,000 consultations, with an emphasis on compassionate medical care. Large quantities of medications have been dispensed free of charge through a well‑stocked pharmacy directed by a Doctor of Pharmacy. Between trips, patients with chronic conditions like diabetes and hypertension have access to telemedicine consultations with a physician in the USA. Our goal is not to replace local health care, but to supplement it for the neediest residents.
These periodic initiatives have led to positive changes in the health of Collique's residents. However, we recognize the need for continuous, holistic health care for the community. To address this, we have implemented programs in wellness, nutrition, and hygiene. We are also pursuing cooperative programs with Sergio Bernales Hospital in Collique and other health care providers. As funding becomes available, we plan to hire a physician or nurse for weekly clinics at the mission site.