Cassandra Bannon 2015-10-14 19:36:42
At meetings in their clubhouse Quito Lions trade gossip, jest with one another and plan projects. Next to the clubhouse is a concrete reminder of their commitment to service: the Quito los Olivos Lions have operated a community medical center in the space adjacent to its clubhouse since 1997. Funded by modest patient fees, the Quito los Olivos Medical Center is staffed by a team of 22 medical professionals and operates six days per week. From microsurgery and neurosurgery to ophthamology to maxillofacial surgery, the clinic provides routine and specialized medical care to approximately 20,000 people each year. Since 2002, the clinic has offered extensive services for cleft lip and cleft palate, free of charge to the families in need of those services. Quito, Ecuador's capital, sits high in the Andean foothills. Chartered in 1980, the Quito los Olivos Lions Club has 29 members. Recently, their clinic has seen an increase in the number of low-income expectant mothers seeking care. The private clinics in the area typically charge US$30 to US$50 for prenatal and maternity services, which is beyond the financial means of many residents. Consequently, more women are turning to the Quito los Olivos Medical Center for quality, acessible health care and family services. To accomodate the increased demand, local Lions clubs built a second floor on the clinic to house a dedicated maternity ward. With the new space allocated and the professional expertise already on hand, all that was missing was the medical equipment. Lions Clubs International Foundation (LCIF) awarded a US$59,043 Standard grant to the Lions of Ecuador to equip the new maternity clinic. Local Lions used these funds to purchase critical supplies such as an infant radiant warmer, a fetal monitor, newborn cribs, three electric hospital beds, a portable electrocardiograph machine, other diagnostic tools, a pediatric scale and birthing table. “It is important to face life with a smile,” says patient Laura Inés Rodríguez Zapater. “LCIF and the Quito los Olivos Lions Club have provided us with a reason to smile!” The LCIF grant has substantially increased the amount of services the clinic can offer. The new maternity clinic now provides women of childbearing age with family planning education, health screenings, prenatal care, delivery and post-partum care. The clinic also offers vaccinations, nutritional counseling and therapeutic services for children. The addition of the maternity clinic means the Quito los Olivos Medical Center will now serve an expected 30,000 people each year, which means healthier mothers, healthier families and a healthier community. LCIF Standard grants provide matching funds from US$10,000 to US$100,000 to Lions clubs or districts that have identified a need within their community and have a plan to address that need. Projects must serve a large number of people and must be beyond the scope of traditional club and/or district fundraising activities. Standard grants generally provide capital funding for equipment and infrastructure needs. To learn about Standard grants, please visit lcif.org.
Published by International Association of Lions Clubs . View All Articles.
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