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Blean Girma

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Mount Saint Mary's University, Los Angeles
Blean Girma

Major: Biology

Summer 2016 CAPA Global Seminar: Comparative Healthcare Systems

My favorite component of the Comparative Healthcare program was the preceptorship. My colleagues and I had the chance to shadow a group of Internalists at the hospital of Universidad Austral in Pilar. This my favorite learning experience because it gave me valuable insight into how physicians work together and how they treat their patients in Buenos Aires. Since I have experience in patient care in the United States, I was able to compare the two and come up with ideas as to how things could be improved in the United States and in Buenos Aires as well.

Study abroad highlight: An awesome and inspiring experience that I feel fortunate to have been given access to is our site visits to a maternity clinic and to a non-profit organization, both located in Tigre.

Not knowing what to expect, I came to learn of the unfortunate conditions in some neighborhoods of the city of Tigre. Having the knowledge of what a proper maternity ward should look like, witnessing the conditions of the public maternity clinic made me speechless. Even though the institution had all the necessary resources needed to care for their patients, the state of their facilities and resources where not to the par at which these women deserved. On a positive note, I can confidently say that many of these women would be helpless and subject to preventable illnesses if this institution did not exist. Many of the women who inhabit that community don't have the means to access care from an Obstetrician/Gynecologist  during their pregnancy. The clinic allows for the prevention of child and maternal mortality, which is a major goal of Argentina's public health system.

In our second visit to Tigre, me and my colleagues had the opportunity to visit a non-profit organization La Cooperadora de la Nutrition Infantil (CONIN). This facility also plays a key role in infant, children, and maternal health as well. The mission of their organization is to better the health and growth of the children of their community utilizing the theory and model of Dr. Fernando Mönckeberg. This model basically states that the health and development of a child highly depends on their nutrition. What the creators of CONIN have been realizing, along with many other health professionals in the community, is that the families, though greatly impoverished, have food but food without the necessary nutritional value. Through CONIN, families can come to the facility to provide proper nutrition to their children who exhibit symptoms of malnourishment. These families also have access to a daycare and/or preschool where the children's development can be further assessed and monitored. 

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