Talk about bad timing!!
Just as Friends of Barrón realized its dream of opening a free medical/dental clinic for the people of Barrón, COVID-19 struck and the clinic closed for two months. The 2019 fund-raising campaign had raised enough money to equip, staff and open the clinic, but more was needed to buy the extra PPE and test kits that would allow the clinic to remain open safely. The good people who habitually support FOB’s efforts came through and the clinic reopened in August, 2020. The staff had remained on full pay during the closure and returned to work determined to provide the services that are so needed by the community.
The clinic is now open 5 to 6 days week in some capacity. Presently, it is staffed by a full-time nurse (Mónica), a medical doctor three days a week (Jesús), and a dentist (Javier) two days a week. Appointments with a nutritionist and a physical therapist are available. The medical staff sees an average of 20 to 25 patients a week, although the attendance surged during last July’s COVID wave so the clinic offered free COVID testing for symptomatic patients. During this six-week crisis period, they treated 60 to 80 patients a week while the Barrón COVID positivity rate hovered between 40 and 60%. Throughout Sinaloa, July was the month with the most COVID infections on record with 15,067 cases. In addition, 527 people died that month state-wide, according to state health information. Barrón has seen about a dozen deaths since March 2020. The Barrón clinic suspended free testing when the infection rate dropped below 10%. Currently, COVID tests are available for a fee of $500 pesos per test.
All medical services are free to Barrón residents, and they maintain a fully-stocked pharmacy, which is also free to the residents of Barron. Non-residents, including EDM residents and their guests, can be seen by the clinic’s medical and dental staff but are required to pay for these services according to a set fee schedule that is posted in the clinic. The clinic was originally funded by American, Canadian, and Mexican donors.
It costs about $2500 USD a month to keep the clinic open and funds donated last year are nearly exhausted. FOB has begun an aggressive fall fund raising effort aimed at keeping the clinic fully operational through 2022 or until a Mexican government entity agrees to take it over and integrate it into the national health care system. So far we have almost $20,000 in commitments including a $10,000 USD grant from the Fort Collins, Colorado Rotary Club to provide ultrasound equipment.
Your donations will be greatly appreciated:
DONATE BY CHECK: Please make your check payable to FOB CANAM INC and mail it to: FOB CANAM INC c/o Richard J McGuire, 18 Oxford Ranch Road, Laramie, WY 82070
VIA PAYPAL: Send your donation to FOB_CANAM@aol.com. Be sure to indicate which program you would like to support; school infrastructure, computers, scholarships, or medical/dental clinic.
Thank you for your interest in the program. FOB CANAM INC is a 501(C)(3) registered charity in the US (EIN 81-4719413), therefore your donation is fully deductible against federal income tax. Upon receipt of your donation you will be sent a formal tax receipt.
Sincerely, Richard J McGuire, Treasurer