Doing More with Less: Healthcare Delivery in Tarija, Bolivia
Visit Tarija, a tranquil city in southern Bolivia of about 200,000 people. This picturesque region is known as the “Bolivian Andalucia” for its vineyards and Spanish cultural influence. Tarija offers universal health insurance, which can create high demand for services and strains on the system due to lack of personnel and equipment. Participants in this program will come to understand cultural and socioeconomic barriers patients face in accessing healthcare services, and witness treatments for pathologies not commonly seen in North America, including parasitosis, tuberculosis, and Chagas.
Join health professionals and become immersed in Tarija’s healthcare system, including community clinics, secondary and tertiary level hospitals, and a leading clinic for the treatment of Chagas Disease. Chagas currently infects 1.8 million people in Bolivia alone, primarily in rural areas. Students will take part in patient consultations, laboratory analysis, and prevention efforts in surrounding communities, while learning from local experts about the latest developments in Chagas research. In addition to clinical rotations, participants may engage in service-learning at a children’s shelter providing vocational training and social services for underserved youth.
Become immersed in Bolivian culture and language through conversational and medical Spanish classes while living with a local family in Tarija. Weekend trip opportunities to nearby destinations including the stunning waterfalls in Coimata, visits to the San Lorenzo Countryside, and explorations of the Sama Biological Reserve.
For this year’s program, students are encouraged to register for REL 367 – Christian Ethics and Healthcare in SPRING semester 2018. A specific section of REL 367 will include a cohort of students who will be participating in the Bolivia program. Dr. Nancy Romer, MD, instructor of the course, will incorporate learning activities in this section that relate to the outcomes of the Bolivia program. Students will complete writing assignments during and after traveling that will fulfill course requirements for this Spring semester course. NOTE – Students who have already completed this course or are unable to take the course in Spring 2018 are still eligible to participate in the program.
All participants will be enrolled in a UDI 220 (MAXIE: Maximizing Your International Education) mini-course in Spring 2018. This course will require several pre-departure and preparation meetings from March through April.
MED/DEN Majors – NOTE - The program will meet the MED 480 requirement of participation in an approved clinical experience.
Students must be 18 years of age or older and eligible to take courses for credit at the University of Dayton. Participants in the program must have a minimum GPA of 2.5. Students in good academic standing with a GPA below 2.5 may petition the Center for International Programs for consideration. Students must also be in good disciplinary standing. This program is open to both pre-med students, as well as students from any major who are interested in global health.
In addition, the program will require a beginner level Spanish competency. Students will be required to take SPN 101 or SPN 131or SPN 141 in Spring 2018 OR demonstrate beginner level Spanish competency through a placement exam offered by University of Dayton Languages Dept. ALL program participants are encouraged to enroll in a Spanish course in Spring so as to best prepare for this immersion experience.
Child Family Health International (CFHI)
For this program, UD is partnering with Child Family Health International. CFHI is a leader in global health education, facilitating international internships that meet rigorous ethical, safety, and academic standards. CFHI’s socially responsible approach and reciprocal, long-term partnerships with communities, ongoing support of local healthcare infrastructure, US and local staff structures, as well as time-tested policies and procedures protect the wellbeing of both students and host communities. Our global partnerships with physicians, clinical and public/community health sites are established and reliable, and CFHI offers the expertise needed to administer global health programs to match academic needs.
Accommodations and Utilities
Students in the program stay at homestays arranged by CFHI. Rooms are either shared or single depending upon availability. Each student will have a single bed. Hot water is generally (but not always) available for showers. WiFi is generally not available at program accommodations; students can access Internet services at nearby cafes. Unless otherwise requested, faculty does not stay in the same lodging as students.
Dr. Kathleen Scheltens (kscheltens1), Director of Premedical Programs