July 2020 Update 1 - Somos Amigos

July 2020 Update 1

The first update on the July Trip is out! This trip, we won’t be hosting volunteers, but we have contracted with two Dominican physicians who will be receiving patients by appointment for four weeks, starting July 13th. By July 10th, any patient who needs an appointment or medication must send us a message via WhatsApp. Further details are on this page.

This is a translation of the message to the patients of Somos Amigos Centro de Salud in El Narajito. For the list of target communities, click here.

Brothers and sisters:

It has been nearly three months since my last message. In that time, the world has changed. Millions of people have been infected with a virus that does not recognize boundaries or status, age or occupation. Hundreds of thousands of people around the world have died.

We protect ourselves by staying in our homes, by wearing masks and gloves, by separating ourselves from our friends and families. Slowly life is returning to normal, but normal will not be as it was before. The world has changed. We have changed.

One thing that has not changed, however, is the commitment of Somos Amigos to you, our patients. You knew that even when the world was experiencing a pandemic, when several billion people were confined to their homes, you knew that even then you could count on us.

Thanks to God we were able to deliver medicines to many of you in April. It was not an easy process, but we had many people helping us in our efforts.

Now the time for another of our clinic trips is nearly upon us. Still, however, travel remains difficult. As you know, the airports in your country are only opening now, and the first flights don’t begin until next week. We are supposed to be at our clinic to receive you in less than two weeks, but again we know we cannot be there as we had hoped.

But as in April, we know there are many of you who depend on us for your medications. You have prescriptions that are running out. You need be checked by your doctor, someone you know and trust, and who knows you.

You know you have our word that we are doing everything possible to honor our commitment to you. We are doing everything in our power to provide your medicines to you. Unfortunately we will not be able to see you in the same manner we have in the past, but we have a new plan.

Because our volunteers will not be able to travel to the clinic this month, we have engaged two Dominican doctors who will be working with us, and we will open our clinic for consultations for four weeks beginning on July 13.

These are the rules and procedures that will be strictly followed:

  • Only patients who were at our clinic in either October or January can visit our clinic in July and receive medicines
  • Only patients who have their record number (carnet or tarjeta) can visit our clinic in July and receive medicines
  • Only patients who live in our target zone of thirty communities are eligible
  • We cannot accept new patients at this time
  • Because the virus is still present and dangerous, you cannot come to the clinic when you want, as in the past. You must have an appointment.
  • Appointment times will be spread over four weeks beginning July 13.
  • We will not receive patients who do not have an appointment.
  • Patients must respect social distancing protocols and must wear a mask.
  • Patients must appear in person. As always, we do not dispense medicines to patients who are not present at the clinic.

And so, if you are eligible as I have described, here is the process to request your appointment:

  • Please send a Whatsapp message to +1-760-892-1446 and give your name, your record number, from your carnet or card, and also the name of the community where you live
  • Do not send a message to Facebook or Instagram. Only Whatsapp messages sent to the number I provided will be received.
  • This number is only valid for this purpose. We will not respond to calls or other messages at this number; it is only for our patients to request their appointments.
  • Again, in your message, you must provide us the number of your record in our clinic. We are not able to find your number if you do not have it.
  • Send your message to Whatsapp before July 10.

After you send us a message, we will confirm your eligibility based on the rules I mentioned before. You will receive a message back from us and we will coordinate a time for you to visit the clinic.

If you are eligible, that is, if you are a regular patient of Somos Amigos, you were at the clinic in October or January, you live in one of the communities on the list, and if you give us your record number… if all of those apply to you, then we will confirm an appointment time and welcome you to the clinic.

Thank you for listening to this information. Please, if you know a patient of Somos Amigos who does not have access to this information, please share this announcement with that person. We are all in this situation together, and we have to care for our brothers and sisters. You know people in your community, perhaps older people, perhaps people who do not have access to social media… if these people are patients of Somos Amigos, please help them communicate with us.

And for our friends who are not yet patients, please know that once this situation is behind us, we will continue to work on plans that will allow us to serve more of you. At this time, we are planning on having a team of volunteers at the clinic in October, si dios quiere.

Again, thank you for your attention. Please stay safe. Even though restrictions are being relaxed, remember to take precautions. I will look forward to seeing you again soon.

A hug. Take care of yourselves.