Dr. Rolando Rolandelli, UHMLA

Antigua: January 2024

 UHMLA returned to Antigua, Guatemala this past January, 6th through the 13th. With a team of 25 people (7attending physicians, 3 resident physicians, 12 nurses, 1 OR technician and 2 students), UHMLA screened 75 patients at the Obras Sociales del Hermano Santo Pedro (OSHSP) who had been preselected by the Compañersos para Cirugía (CPC). This group sends health care workers to underserved communities all over the country, identifies surgical candidates and performs a preoperative checkup, and assists with transportation of patients and their families for their stay in Antigua.

 Sixty-six patients were selected for surgery to repair hernias and uterine prolapses, and to remove gallbladders with stones and fibroid uteruses. The OSHSP maintains 4 well equipped and staffed operating rooms which run very efficiently. All 66 surgeries were carried out without complications. Most patients stayed at least overnight at the OSHSP facility. Financial support for the facility comes from surgical group fees from organizations such as UHMLA, as well as a nominal fee collected from patients. These monies are used to maintain the surgical facility , as well as two others: a long-term care facility for children and adults with neurological disorders, mostly cerebral palsy, and another that houses elderly individuals.

 In keeping with UHMLA’s tradition there were two students in this trip, a nursing student and a college student interested in health care. Nurses and residents travel through a grant from the Benjamin H. Josephson, MD Fund.