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Poverty Alleviation Projects

2006 Projects

April 9, 2006

Dear Friends:

Welcome to your April 2006 report for The $10 Club.

Like other children who come in, the boy had trouble breathing and very low energy. Everyone here has a respiratory infection at some level…. Mother needed medicine for child with sore throat and cough, both of which are extremely common here with all the dust…. Ten year old girl came in crying. She was overheated and shaking, her hands were clenched and her eyes rolled back. She hadn’t eaten anything for breakfast or had anything to drink…. Brenda got calcium pills for her mom; the four dollar price made it so they can’t buy them very often…. Patient has had infection for 3 days; he has rapid shallow breaths and is lethargic from not sleeping at night…. A week old baby has horribly peeling dry skin from dehydration because the family he was born into lives more than a four hour walk from the nearest water source.

Hope Jackson shared these and many other stories with me from her time working at a clinic in Los Talpetates, El Salvador, a rural village of 1,500 people more than two hours from the nearest city. It is the only independently run women’s health clinic in the country and has been run under the capable leadership of Josefa Mira since it began operation in 1998.

The clinic receives no government funding. Without outside support, hundreds of the neediest in El Salvador will be deprived of the health care they desperately require.

This month, 306 of us donated $3,060 to Hope to help fund a number of items when she returns to the clinic in Los Talpetates in May. With our support they will be able to purchase much-needed medical supplies including: prenatal vitamins, gauze pads and sponges, disposable syringes, sutures, umbilical cord clamps, digital blood pressure monitors, fetal heartbeat monitors, medicines for bronchial infection, pregnancy tests, and thermometers. Additionally, our money will be used to re-cover the palm roof that covers the porch and provides shade; buy new fans and window screens for the birthing room; paint the inside walls of the clinic; buy file cabinets for medical records, a typewriter, and midwifery resource books; and a sewing machine to enable mothers to sew clothes and diapers for their children. Thank you.

Poor countries such as El Salvador are more prone to conflict and the connection between violent conflict and poor development are clear. According to the UN, El Salvador lost roughly $1.6 billion worth of infrastructure during more than a decade of civil war starting in the early 1980s. 18% of El Salvadorians lack access to an improved water source; one in ten children under five is underweight; and 11% of the population is undernourished. One-third of births in El Salvador occur without the presence of trained personnel.

The work of Josefa Mira and her two volunteers is invaluable. Each day they treat eight to ten women, children, and men. Many men who come in have open gashes in their legs from working with machetes in the sugar cane fields all day—to earn a little over three dollars. Josefa provides prenatal exams at regular intervals throughout a woman’s pregnancy; and offers prenatal vitamins, B12 injections, pregnancy tests, birth control, and antibiotics for various infections.

Josefa’s work must go on and I’m thrilled that Hope is working so hard to make sure that it can. Hope writes of a day a year ago: “Today was the day that doctors come to give vaccines to children, pregnant women and elderly people. I spent the morning at the clinic with about twenty women and their babies, but the health ministry never showed up.”

This month we provide medical assistance to an entire village, and in some cases will provide for the people of El Salvador where the government there either won’t or can’t. Thank you for once again stepping up to meet the challenge of helping those most at risk and in need. You likely saved another life today.

Saving the world, ten dollars at a time,

Adam


The $10 Club is a nonprofit corporation registered in the District of Columbia.
Contributions are exempt from federal income tax under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.


The $10 Club 2040 Tunlaw Rd., NW Washington, DC 20007 (202) 337-3123 adam@thetendollarclub.org