“Thanks to Andean Health & Development and the Center for Social Concerns at Notre Dame, our team was able to have this incredible and enriching experiencing by being able to travel to the PVM Hospital located in the community of Pedro Vicente Maldonado, Ecuador. We realized firsthand how difficult the challenge to provide sustainable healthcare in a rural region is by coming face to face with the factors of cost, accessibility, transport, and quality of care that often arise as obstacles. In addition, we saw how government and control of resources can play a huge role in dictating the outcome of a population’s health, and how the perpetuation of lifestyle habits and lack of education on how to live a healthy role continues to plague individuals struggling to achieve a better life.
The trip brought new concerns about securing better healthcare and a quality of life for others. How do we address the misconception a community has towards the healthcare system and change it from being one of disdain to trust? How do we ensure that it is sustainable and available to many while still maintaining a high level of quality?
However, we were able to witness firsthand the change and hope the hospital brought to such a small community and how essential the need for healthcare is in rural areas. All in all, it’s a growing experience that makes you realize what is important in life and how much reciprocal learning and the exchanging of ideas and cultures can do to move forward into a better future. In doing so, we build the foundations and legacies to continue the true change and inspire the subsequent generations who will emerge after us to push towards a more united and greater future for all.”
– Andrew Taniguchi
Andrew Taniguchi is a senior at Notre Dame who participated in the summer service learning program with AHD in Ecuador.
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