The San Lorenzo Clinic was founded by HCJB World Radio in a small house within the town. (HCJB is a missions organization which was founded in Ecuador over 75 years ago.) The Clinic began as a center for the care of eye disease. When the national program for the elimination of river blindness was begun, a high incidence of eye disease was discovered in the province, and this led to the birth of the clinic.
Initially, the Clinic received substantial funding from Christian Blind Mission (CBM), with an emphasis on the surgical correction of cataract disease. This support decreased gradually over the years, and the Clinic no longer receives financial support from CBM.
Construction was completed on a new, larger facility j ust outside of San Lorenzo on a parcel of land donated by the city This is the current location of the Clinic. The plan was to expand the services at the Clinic to include medical care, dentistry and laboratory services.
An intermittent program of ambulatory, general surgery was begun by Dr. Jane Weaver during short-term trips to Ecuador. Dr. Weaver is a board-certified general surgeon and Fellow of the American College of Surgeons. Due to the high incidence of hernias in the area, the first operations performed by Dr. Jane were hernia repairs under local anesthesia.
Construction began on a house on the Clinic property for medical staff, with the hope of making the Clinic a more attractive place to work and life. It was also designed with space to house visiting physicians. On September 10, 2001, Dr. Jane moved to Ecuador as a full-time missionary surgeon.
Construction on the “Doctor’s House” was completed. Dr. Jane slowly began to establish the general surgery program at the Clinic. Her desire was to introduce the program carefully so as to build confidence in the program and gain the respect and trust of the community — an approach which has proven to be very successful.
The surgical program was augmented to offer general surgery one week every month. Today, one or two weeks of surgery are scheduled each month. In September, both a dentist and a medical doctor were contracted for full-time service. In October, Dr. Jane was appointed Director of the Clinic.
An anesthesia machine was secured for the Clinic. This was a major advancement for the general surgery program. It allows Dr. Jane to offer a much wider variety of operations. These included surgeries on the thyroid, gall bladder, bowel surgeries, hysterectomies, laparatomies and pediatric surgeries.
A security wall was construced around the majority of the Clinic property. Because of its proximity to Colombia, San Lorenzo can sometimes be a dangerous place to work and live. The wall affords the staff and patients an increased level of safety and security.
Construction was completed on a large Ministry Building on the Clinic campus. This new facility provides a meeting place for the Kids’ Bible Club and the Women’s Ministry. Both programs have grown rapidly and needed additional space. Today, a local church, La Roca (The Rock) holds their services in the Ministry Building while they construct a new church building. Two new sterilizers were purchased to replace an old autoclave which could no longer be repaired.
Construction was completed on a two-story addition to the main Clinic building. This new building includes a larger operating room, a monitored recovery room, additional examination rooms, and an area for laundry and sterilization. It makes it possible for the Clinic to better serve the growing needs of the community.
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