A medical and dental clinic in one of the poorest areas of Puerto Vallarta, Mexico is being equipped with the financial help of Saskatchewan residents.
The fundraising project is being spearheaded by Darryl Derksen with Glenmor Equipment in Prince Albert.
“These are people who really need a better chance at life,” says Derksen. “They need a better chance at health, something they have to pay out of their own pockets. Most of them can’t afford it, so we’re setting up the clinics simply to help these people.”
Derksen is helping to raise 30-thousand dollars for a clinic, staffed with professionals, in a neighborhood of 50,000 people — many of whom can’t afford regular medical or dental treatment.
The community hall serves as a centre for family gatherings, weddings, funerals and other community activities. It also has six classrooms where volunteers teach basic English and home economics.
Two rooms have have been set aside to establish walk-in clincs for basic medical services (such as physical examinations and minor emergencies) and dental services like cleanings, fillings, extractions, x-rays and checkups.
The clinics will be manned by volunteer local doctors and dentists on a part-time basis.
“These are professionals that normally wouldn’t get to see this type of neighbourhood,” Derksen says. “People in these types of neighbourhoods cannot afford doctors and dentists.”
In a few short weeks he says, about half of the money has been donated.
Derksen and a couple from Thunder Bay, Ontario have assumed the task of raising the money to purchase equipment for the clinic.
Approximately half of the money was donated in a few short weeks. A significant amount of the financial assistance has come from Saskatchewan residents. A dentist from Rosetown, Dr. Glenn Riekman, even went to Mexico to check things out for himself and provided some technical advice.
The dental equipment is being installed and that will be followed by putting in the necessary sinks, cupboards and drawers to store the dental equipment.