+ The Need
In Guatemala, children under 18 years of age represent approximately 50% of the total population. An incredible 59% of people live below the poverty line (living on less than $1.25 US per day) and 23% of the population live in extreme poverty. Guatemala also has the highest level of chronic malnutrition in Central and South America. The extreme poverty and lack of adequate education are often the causes of malnutrition and birth defects seen in our patients.
The healthcare system of Guatemala is so broken that critical medical care is widely unavailable to the 59% below the poverty line. Guatemala has one of the poorest healthcare systems in Latin America with only .93 physicians available per 10,000 people. Underfunded and concentrated in the more urban parts of the county, the system is inaccessible to a large number of Guatemalans, particularly children. For most, surgery is never an option.
+ How We Accomplish Our Mission
The Shalom Foundation’s Moore Pediatric Surgery Center addresses the desperate medical and health needs of poor children in Guatemala. The Moore Center is utilized year-round by volunteer medical and surgical teams that provide surgeries across ten different specialties during the course of their one-week trips. These volunteer teams work with local Guatemalan medical specialists to provide the poor with thorough pre-screening care, surgical care and post-op care within our modern surgical facility. By partnering with in-country doctors and nurses for follow up treatment, the best surgical care possible is provided.
+ The Moore Center
As a structure, The Moore Pediatric Surgery Center has 12,000 square feet of space and functions as an independent surgical hospital. It has 3 modern operating rooms, five PACU beds, 20 recovery beds, a nursing station, and a stocked pharmacy. While visiting teams bring some of the medications needed for their specific protocols, the pharmacy is equipped with the anesthetics, analgesics, and antibiotics necessary for surgery and the treatment of potential complications. The hospital also has a conference room, administrative offices, waiting areas, laundry facilities, a kitchen, and 24-hour security.
The Moore Center thus provides an independent space and organizational structure for visiting surgeons, local providers and patients to coordinate operative and perioperative care. It is managed by The Shalom Foundation’s local Guatemalan staff of administrators, physicians, nurses, and ancillary service personnel. This staff provides consistency in the practice that occurs at The Center as various visiting surgical teams rotate through.