Screen_shot_2013-02-01_at_7.33.17_PMAs the teachers are currently in the negotiating process of obtaining a salary raise, Belizeans on a whole are finding it difficult to make ends meet.  With the price of every day groceries at an all-time high, the buying power of a dollar is no longer what it used to be.  In order to make these ends come close to meeting, many Belizeans sacrifice many things for that to occur. Many families give up family trips, vacations, new clothes, among many others things.  One of the major sacrifices which households make is that of receiving proper medical attention.

Whenever illnesses or health complications arise, parents would quickly self-medicate rather than going to the hospital and paying for proper medical services.  Only when the pain cannot be medicated, will Belizeans then seek a doctor’s assistance.

However, many Belizeans who reside in the Corozal District will be able to access free medical assistance starting tomorrow.  Yesterday evening, a group of doctors and nurses arrived in Belize courtesy of Belize Medical Missions who will be rendering care at the Saint Francis Xavier Parish in Corozal Town.  The clinics will be completely free of cost to those who attend.  Head of the Belize Medical Mission, Ans Vanuffelen, who is also a nurse, told us more about the visit.

Ans Vanuffelen- Head of Belize Medical Mission

“My first time here in Belize was in 2001 and ever since we are really looking forward to it.”

In 2001 the Belize Medical Mission made their services available to Corozaleṅos for the first time.  Since then, the missionaries have made it their oath to make yearly visit to the northernmost district of Belize.  The missionaries started going to Corozal after being convinced that the people have limited to no access to health care and when they do it is at prices they cannot meet.  Since then, for more than a decade now, Corozalenos anxiously await this time of the year when the Belize Medical Mission come to the district.  Ans Vanuffelen says Corozal mothers have improved in the care of their children since mothers would come to the clinics just to make sure that their youngsters are well.  The most incidental occurrence in Corozal she has seen in the past years, is diabetes.

Ans Vanuffelen- Head of Belize Medical Mission

“Our mission is really to do clinical and to provide medical care for people who are too far or too poor for them to go to the hospitals or other private physicians so we open the door and anybody who comes through the door we will try to help on one way or another and we provide education and medications, counseling and whatever they need.

The mission will also be visiting Libertad, San Narciso, and San Joaquin among many others villages in the days to come.