Angie Kelly – May 10th- Shadowing Havier

Today we got to glimpse into the lives of the lower socioeconomic class of Costa Rica. Though this is a fact, it does not mean in any way that the people we met were any lower than us. In fact, we saw how human they were and how capable we are as a species to find happiness with very little material items. The basic principle of sustainability is using resources efficiently, and in such a way that our future generations still have the option of living a comfortable life. Visiting the homes and being given the opportunity to become part of these families lives was incredible, and has been my favorite day of the trip so far. We followed an ATAP, Technical Assistants to Primary Care, named Havier to four houses. At the first we had the pleasure of meeting a four year old named Brenda and her mother. We learned the general process of what an ATAP does, such as names, birthdays, the head of the household and previous vaccines. The ATAP’s make sure to build a personal relationship with their patients, and to ensure those families receive the care that is necessary. In the case of Brenda, only one vaccine was needed. Though she cried quite a bit, a paper airplane and some soothing words is all it took to make it through. The second house was home to a man of 78 years old, who despite having two heart attacks, is still kicking with a blood pressure of 110/70. That is a notable aspect of all the residents within Las Palmas: their blood pressures are impeccable. The third house is where we had the pleasure of meeting Carol, her step-daughter and nephew. Thankfully, no vaccines, nor paper airplanes, were needed today. Carol had just moved into the house, and without her vaccination card that showed which vaccines she had already received. In a case like this, she had to reapply for the vaccines and will get them in the future. Finally, we visited a mother of four boys, named Irma. She and one of her sons received a tetanus shot while we were there. All of these visits relate to sustainability because it was all part of the level one care in the Costa Rican healthcare system. The main goal of level one care, is preventative measures. By preventing diseases and accidents by first providing the care and education that is needed, the country is able to keep their citizens healthy, without requiring them to move on to higher, more expensive levels, unless absolutely needed. This aspect alone helps save costs and resources within the system, while also taking care of the majority of their people. This principle, directly relates to sustainability and shows that a country, and a people, of any status can be sustainable and provide future generations with a healthy life.

2 thoughts on “Angie Kelly – May 10th- Shadowing Havier”

  1. This is terrific, Angie. I am so pleased to read about your experiences in Costa Rica. I encourage you to continue to observe, to ask questions, and to be curious. Wishing you all the best.

    1. Thank you Dr. Eury! It was definitely a great experience, and I couldn’t have done it without your recommendation! It was very appreciated 🙂

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