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Delivering Health Care to Children Right in their Communities
When it comes to quality of life for our children worldwide, access to health care is critical. Without access, children are at greater risk of obesity, heart disease, asthma, tooth decay and more. For some children the consequences are missed school, for others it is a lifetime of health problems. For Emir in El Salvador, who has Down’s syndrome and a malformed foot, few options for medical treatment meant spending his days in bed, sad, withdrawn and hurting.
When the Ronald McDonald Care Mobile team arrived in Emir’s village, they were told about the little boy with a big need. The program director drove to Emir’s house, carried him to his car and took him to the Ronald McDonald Care Mobile for assessment. The medical team arranged Emir’s ongoing medical care. They connected him with psychological counseling and other support services. He is currently receiving physical therapy to soften his muscles and tissue to enable him to have surgery to allow him to walk.
“My dream is that Emir will walk,” said his mother.
RMHC El Salvador launched the Ronald McDonald Care Mobile launched in 2007. It provides medical and dental care, immunizations, psychological counseling, and nutrition and health education. The program also provides laser tattoo removal to help adolescents branded as gang members erase the stigma of delinquency.
“Forty-percent of children in El Salvador have no access to basic health services”, said Bea Marroquin, executive director of RMHC of El Salvador. “Since 2007, we have served 42,000 children in 92 municipalities. These services are absolutely essential and we are treating twice as many children as we originally anticipated. In fact, because of the outstanding work provided by our staff, we are the only project sponsored two years consecutively by USAID in the region.”
A network of 36 Ronald McDonald Care Mobile programs located in six countries (31 in the U.S.) target communities the world over to bridge the gap between quality health services and vulnerable children.
“The Ronald McDonald Care Mobile program is unique to many other mobile healthcare initiatives because we go beyond screening to treat and refer children for ongoing health care,” said Marty Coyne, president and CEO of RMHC. “While it isn’t as well known as the Ronald McDonald House, it serves the same mission of ensuring children have the access to quality, consistent health care that is so important in their development.”
Emir’s story is only one out of more than 100,000 children seen each year on a Ronald McDonald Care Mobile. To learn more about the program, click here.
Click here to search for a Ronald McDonald Care Mobile near you.
“My dream is that Emir will walk.”
- Emir’s mother