Even after the mobile health clinics offered by The Tandana Foundation in rural Ecuador with help from foreign volunteers ended in 2020 due to the pandemic, health care support to the organization’s many partner communities never stopped. One of the main reasons why is Virginia Sánchez, coordinator of Tandana’s Community Health and Well-being Program, who has continued to deliver needed medical, dental, and vision care to the members of the remote communities.Continue reading “Q&A: Checking in with Tandana’s Community Health and Well-being Program Coordinator”
Before the meeting began, none of the gathered assembly were inclined to talk. They formed a circle in front of the Quichinche Health Center and looked down at their feet. A few of the women who had arrived together talked quietly. María Flores, one of the women in attendance informed me that the group was not yet accustomed to this unfamiliar setting. “This is an important meeting for us, but it’s a new program. I’ve only been here twice; the other members, maybe three times.”Continue reading “Healthier together: The Quichinche Health Center’s Seniors’ Club”
When thinking about barriers to education, worrying about getting injured biking to school and not being about to receive treatment nearby may not be top-of-mind. However, in rural Mali, young students not having reliable access to basic medical care at their school has caused many to miss class, repeat a year, or even dropout entirely.Continue reading “First aid stations in Mali are increasing attendance, improving health, and supporting teachers”
Helping to fill a void for trained healthcare providers in rural Mali, several students in the Ash B. Varma, M.D. Scholarship Program are well on their way to becoming needed medical professionals. Thanks to the scholarship support, the students, who are enrolled in professional training programs, are learning important skills and gaining experience caring for patients.Continue reading “Four Ash B. Varma, M.D. scholars report on their experiences over the past year”
As Community Health and Well-Being Coordinator for The Tandana Foundation in Ecuador, I have the chance to work with many patients and support them in accessing all kinds of important medical treatments. I want to share the story of one young patient that made a great impression on me. Mateo Torres is a three-year-old boy from the community of Agualongo, who could not hear, speak, or walk when I met him.Continue reading “How Mateo heard for the first time”
Since the Sal Heath Center was opened in Mali earlier this year, many patients from around the Sal Sector’s five villages have been receiving needed medical care. Many of those patients have been children, who previously lacked access to local and reliable healthcare. The center, which was made possible through the efforts of village residents in partnership with The Tandana Foundation and its generous donors, is now providing care to those children and relieving the danger and worries associated with traveling to far away health centers.Continue reading “Hear stories about the benefits of the Sal Health Center to children”
Fourteen-year-old Elvis Oyagata lives in rural Cutambi, Ecuador, and soccer is his favorite sport. However, for several years, Elvis was not able to walk, let alone play soccer, without pain.Continue reading “Helping Elvis play soccer again”
The new Sal Health Center in Mali is now providing women with access to prenatal and maternity care as well as routine and other necessary procedures, including recently starting free vaccination clinics for children and infants. Safe and reliable access to these services was long-desired by the Sal Sector’s residents before the center’s opening, as women used to travel long distances or rely on irregular visits by vaccination providers to receive such care. It was also one of the major motivations behind a great effort undertaken by The Tandana Foundation with the sector’s five villages to construct the center.Continue reading “‘The women of the Sal Sector welcome with great joy the arrival of the Sal Health Center’”
The following story was written by Virginia Sánchez, the Community Health and Well-being Coordinator for The Tandana Foundation in Ecuador, about a patient she assisted in getting needed medical care.Continue reading “Finding answers to a severe medical issue, while also helping a family”
The Tandana Foundation is shifting to a new format for its health and well-being-focused volunteer and intercultural learning program in Ecuador. The new program, called Public Health Volunteer Venture, will allow participants to support public health initiatives in rural Ecuadorian communities, such as leading health education activities and helping with clean water projects that prevent disease, along with immersing themselves in the local culture.Continue reading “Tandana introduces new Public Health Volunteer Venture in Ecuador this fall”
In recognition of The Tandana Foundation’s 15th anniversary, we are creating 15 videos featuring cherished members of the organization’s global family. Published in a series of 15 posts on this blog, these videos will highlight key aspects of Tandana’s philosophy, community partnerships, and impactful work that has been done, along with projects still in progress. The videos will serve as a meaningful way to reflect back on what has been accomplished in 15 years as well as provide insight into the Tandana’s future in the next 15 years.Continue reading “Celebrating 15 Years of Intercultural Friendship: A New Health Center”
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have had to change the planning in the Community Health and Well-being program, since the mobile medical clinics in the communities have been canceled. In no way can we think that for this reason the cases of diseases have decreased; it is quite the opposite. They have increased because people in the communities do not seek timely medical help due to the fear of becoming infected (by the coronavirus).Continue reading “The important work accomplished through the Community Health and Well-being Program in 2021”
The Tandana Foundation recently received a $3,000 grant from the Altrusa International Foundation Inc. – an organization committed to improve the economic well-being and quality of life through the foundation’s commitment to community service and literacy – for its Community Health and Well-being Program in Ecuador. Along with the Altrusa grant, Tandana also received a $5,000 donation from the Mancos United Methodist Church in Colorado and $5,000 from Dr. Tom Scott for this program.Continue reading “Tandana receives $13,000 in grant funding and donations for its Community Health and Well-being Program”
Mike and Gail Lavey always recognized the importance of having access to healthcare, but it was not until Mike nearly died in a car accident after being hit by a drunk driver that the issue really came into the forefront of their minds.Continue reading “Paying-it-forward: Tandana Donors share what motivated them to contribute to the Sal Health Center’s equipment costs”
In recognition of The Tandana Foundation’s 15th anniversary, we are creating 15 videos featuring cherished members of the organization’s global family. Published in a series of 15 posts on this blog, these videos will highlight key aspects of Tandana’s philosophy, community partnerships, and impactful work that has been done, along with projects still in progress. The videos will serve as a meaningful way to reflect back on what has been accomplished in 15 years as well as provide insight into the Tandana’s future in the next 15 years.Continue reading “Celebrating 15 Years of Intercultural Friendship: Nayeli’s Story of Healing”
Approximately 9,000 residents in and around the Sal Sector of Wadouba Township in Mali will soon have access to local basic health care services thanks to the construction of a new health center. The construction of the Sal Health Center represents the largest building project that The Tandana Foundation has supported in the Bandiagara District of Mali, and the need for the center was clear.Continue reading “Construction complete: Sal Health Center to provide needed medical care to thousands of people in Mali”
In recognition of The Tandana Foundation’s 15th anniversary, we are creating 15 videos featuring cherished members of the organization’s global family. Published in a series of 15 posts on this blog, these videos will highlight key aspects of Tandana’s philosophy, community partnerships, and impactful work that has been done, along with projects still in progress. The videos will serve as a meaningful way to reflect back on what has been accomplished in 15 years as well as provide insight into the Tandana’s future in the next 15 years.Continue reading “Celebrating 15 Years of Intercultural Friendship: Confronting COVID-19”
As a public health professional, I have always been interested in health care systems in Latin America, specifically with a focus on health disparities.
I have volunteered most of my life, while working full-time. I enjoy volunteering and have done so for many years. I had stopped for a while to reflect on my next opportunity, what I wanted to do next. Recently I came across The Tandana Foundation website and read about what they do and their mission. When I talked with Maria Jose, (the Ecuador Program Manager) I thought this was perfect for me as I would get a first-hand view of health care in Otavalo, the available resources, and types of care that the community receives.Continue reading “Healthcare in Otavalo Canton, Ecuador”
Nayeli Anrango, a member of the Panecillo community, received medical care through Tandana’s mobile clinics in October 2018 after experiencing several epileptic episodes that caused seizures, falls, and loss of consciousness. According to the doctor that saw her, this was a case of child epilepsy and she needed to see a neurologist.Continue reading “Tandana changes Nayeli’s life”
Thanks to sponsorship by the O’Donnell Visiting Educator Program and the Center for Global Studies at Whitman College, Associate Professor of Biology Leena Knight and Founding Director of The Tandana Foundation, Anna Taft (Whitman ‘02), organized a course titled Health in Ecuador and Mali: Pandemic, Race, Culture that took place remotely this fall for Whitman College students.Continue reading “Bringing global perspectives and multiple forms of knowledge to higher education”
You stand behind Jaime Muenala’s cement farm house in the majestic foothills of volcanic Mt. Imbabura in northern Ecuador, gazing in awe down the clifflike trail to the green terrace below, and then you find yourself asking the obvious: “Do you go up and down THAT to get to your fields?” Jaime smiles slightly and says, “Si.” In fact, daily. And not just when farming. Continue reading “High hopes: one man’s determination to overcome the obstacles before him”
This summer, several communities that The Tandana Foundation partners with in Segue-Iré, Mali approached the organization for emergency support related to mitigating the spread of COVID-19, after numerous deaths and several positive cases were confirmed. The following is a report written about how Tandana and the communities worked together to successfully respond to the situation. Continue reading “Tandana helps provide emergency COVID-19 support in Ningari”
Like in the rest of the world, the threat of COVID-19 has changed the lives of many people in the communities of the Quichinche Parish in Otavalo, Ecuador.
From the close communication carried by The Tandana Foundation, directed by Virginia Sánchez (Patient Followup Coordinator), with the staff of the Quichinche and Gualsaqui health centers, it has been possible to identify the most relevant challenges in order to work in favor of the communities. Virginia affirms that, “What has changed is the way we are working. We haven’t stopped; we are still keeping an eye on the patients.” Continue reading “A united front: Tandana’s health care support through COVID-19 in Ecuador”
Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, The Tandana Foundation has been supporting our community partners in Mali through conducting education about prevention measures, assembling and distributing hand-washing stations, and providing supplies and personal protective equipment (PPE) to a hospital and local health centers. Members of the Tandana team have also recorded a radio broadcast with public health information that has aired across the Bandiagara District. Below three community leaders share the impact of this work and express their gratitude for the foundation’s support. Continue reading “The impact of Tandana’s COVID-19 response in Mali”
When you live in the high Andes of Ecuador at an altitude of 9,000 feet, where your eyes are subjected to intense solar rays, cold winds blowing off the peaks, and the thick volcanic dust that that for thousands of years has grown the staple foods of corn and potatoes, a film can begin to grow over the eyes, rather like a cataract, severely diminishing your vision. Luz Maria Campos and her husband, Luis, began to realize that something was not right with her eyes, although they didn’t understand exactly what was wrong. Continue reading “Medical care from the heart that never gives up”
The COVID-19 pandemic is spreading quickly throughout the world, affecting all of us in different ways. It landed quickly in Ecuador, started spreading, and is now on the doorstep of the communities The Tandana Foundation partners with. In Mali, it arrived later, but now, with a growing number of recorded cases, sharing information about the disease is urgent. Continue reading “Tandana needs your help to support its community partners through the COVID-19 pandemic”
If patients require additional care or larger medical procedures, such as surgery, after visiting one of the health care clinics organized by The Tandana Foundation in rural Ecuador, they enter the organization’s Patient Follow Up Program. Through this program, Tandana’s Patient Follow Up Coordinator Virginia Sanchez helps patients obtain such care by helping them navigate the public health system and advocating for them. In the following videos, two patients in the program share their experiences and gratitude in receiving their needed medical care. Continue reading “Two patients’ stories from participating in Tandana’s Patient Follow Up Program”
The Tandana’s Foundation’s Patient Follow Up Program helps patients who have visited the health care clinics the foundation organizes in rural Ecuador to access additional care they may need from lab tests to specialists, surgeries, and eyeglasses. In the above video, one patient, Tania Fuerez, who utilized the Patient Follow Up Program, expresses her gratitude for the support she received from Tandana. Through the program, Tania was able to help gain access to surgery to remove a tumor in her jaw, which alleviated the pain and discomfort she was feeling. Continue reading “‘They help me, without me giving them anything’”
The Tandana Foundation will be holding its 26th Health Care Volunteer Venture (HCVV) in rural highland Ecuador from October 5-12, 2019. Since 2007, when Tandana began partnering with the indigenous communities in the region to host mobile health clinics, volunteering medical professionals and their local counterparts have provided for 11,968 patient visits. This includes providing needed medical, dental, and vision care to at least 6,614 unique patients and conducting 5,709 pediatric checkups. Continue reading “The significance of Health Care Volunteer Ventures – by the numbers”
Below, Virginia Sánchez, Patient Follow-up Coordinator for the Tandana Foundation, shares the story of Richard and how generous Tandana donors were able to assist him to hear.
In November of 2015, we (Tandana) had the opportunity to learn about Richard, a young man from the community of Panecillo, in the parish of Quichinche, Ecuador, who, through his mother, desperately sought support from a non-governmental organization to obtain a left foot prosthesis, but first let me tell you his whole story. Continue reading “A new opportunity for life”
Maria Rosa Castañeda is one of many patients who have benefited from the Tandana Foundation‘s Patient Follow Up Program in rural communities of Ecuador. After seeing a doctor during a Tandana mobile clinic, she was referred to a specialist for her hearing impairment and ended up having surgery that changed her life. In the video, Maria describes her struggles stemming from not being able to hear before receiving the surgery, and the emotional moment when she woke up from the surgery being able to hear. Watch the video to see the incredible emotions Maria shows, and read a transcript of what she said in the blog post below. Continue reading “Eyes opened through hearing”
The Tandana Foundation has a health care program called the Healthcare Volunteer Venture (HCVV)- a program in which the foundation brings groups of volunteers (both skilled and unskilled in the medical field) from the United States and Canada to provide a phenomenal mobile clinic in some of the indigenous communities of Highland Ecuador. The program happens twice a year, and the foundation held its 23rd and 24th mobile health care clinics in April and September of 2018.
Visiting the picturesque highlands of Ecuador enriched by the local culture, and inspired by living and working with community members is sure to cultivate creativity. Such was the case for a participant of a recent Health Care Volunteer Venture trip organized by the Tandana Foundation. While sharing her medical skills as part of a team providing medical care to local residents, Dr. Swati Biswas crafted a poem about her experience as a HCVV volunteer, which she presented to the group on the last day of the trip. In the beautiful lines of poetic verse below, Swati creates a unique picture of life in Ecuador, as she reflects on all that she has seen and done, and the people she met along the way. Continue reading “A health care volunteer’s experience, told in poetic verse”
In the rural communities of the Quichinche parish, getting access to medical care is not always easy. Residents often wait long amounts of time to receive support and assistance through Ecuador’s public health system. Twice each year, the Tandana Foundation‘s Health Care Volunteer Venture teams and staff from the public health centers visit these rural communities to provide primary care to the local residents. Tandana’s Patient Follow Up Coordinator then works with the patients who are referred for additional care, advocating for them in the public health system. It is our goal that, through this process, patients learn how to use the system on their own. In the following videos and translations of their transcripts, three of these patients explain in their own words how the HCVV visits helped them receive needed medical support and more.
Continue reading “Going beyond medical support”
Through its health program in Ecuador, The Tandana Foundation works with the Quichinche Subcentro, a rural health center in Ecuador, to support its work caring for the people of the parish. Tandana collaborates with its staff to visit the more distant communities, to follow up with patients identified during these visits who need additional care, and also to support the staff’s health education work. The following is the story written about a recent collaboration by the director of the Subcentro. Continue reading “Assisting a health center in providing services to the community”