Sometimes miracles happen. When we were still constructing the Grace Clinic, a wonderful organization reached out to us and expressed its desire to help. They had heard about how we had united the refugee community and wanted to empower us further. They asked our team of volunteer doctors what machinery would be most impactful when our clinic was up and running. Our doctors responded that an ultrasound machine would be a game-changer. Not only did A Ripple International provide us with an ultrasound machine, but they delivered to our door the most cutting-edge ultrasound machine currently available: The Butterfly. This device is changing ultrasound practices worldwide. A machine that used to need to be wheeled into the room now fits in your pocket and syncs with your phone or tablet, a truly remarkable device.
Ecuador’s health system is a double-edged sword. For any emergency, including a birth, anyone can receive services from hospitals free of charge. However, for any routine checkups or non-life-threatening conditions, there are 3-9 month wait times. Additionally, all medical devices are imported, and due to the 35% luxury tax that Ecuador imposes, any lab tests carry their exorbitant prices. That creates an interesting situation where many immigrate to give birth, but they do not have access to prenatal care. That is especially true of the refugee population, where newborns and pregnant mothers are at much higher risk of many conditions than the general population.
Grace is currently fundraising to hire a complete-time lab technician to operate this cutting-edge technology. Please consider supporting GRACE to offer free ultrasounds to pregnant mothers, Monday-Friday, 8 am-5 pm.