Every year, LIG Global conducts a medical mission at the Hospital Ramón Matías Mella in Dajabón, DR. From routine exams to complex surgeries, LIG Global offers healthcare to patients in need. Through both independent clinics and collaborations with local physicians, the team optimizes their time in the region to provide local healthcare. For many patients, this care affords them the opportunity to return to work and continue living their lives free of disabling conditions. The LIG Youth Network also works in conjunction with a local school for children with special needs. Our volunteer team has expanded beyond medical and has included educators, librarians, occupational and physical therapists. Besides providing health screenings, LIG prides itself on donating materials to the school, running an interactive summer camp, and yes, even providing hula hoops and dance lessons for some fun!
The capital city of the Dajabón province in the Dominican Republic, Dajabón is located directly on the border with neighbouring Haiti. North of the Cordillera Central mountain range, Dajabón is famous for its market where each Monday and Friday the border to its sister city of Ouanaminthe, Haiti is opened so both Haitians and Dominicans alike can sell their goods.
In the Dominican Republic, all citizens have free government-sponsored healthcare, but the access to and quality of those healthcare services vary greatly by region. In cities such as Santo Domingo and Santiago, the healthcare system is far more robust than areas like Dajabón. Even with limited access to resources, the municipal hospitals have adapted to respond and treat patients despite limited medical staff and specialized healthcare.
LIG Global is proud to collaborate with local medical providers to serve the community of Dajabón. What first began as a clinical and routine women’s healthcare program turned into the LIG team helping perform specialized and difficult surgeries. LIG first ventured to the region with their partners Waves of Health. When the first medical professionals who volunteered discovered a lack of adequate access to medical surgeries, they knew something had to be done. Since then the LIG Global team of medical professionals return annually. Both medical and non-medical volunteers make up the LIG team.
The healthcare team performs surgeries that the community would need to wait months or even years to have performed otherwise. Patients travel from up to several hours away in order to obtain the medical care they so desperately need. The medical and non-medical services that LIG Global brings to Dajabón create lasting changes for the local healthcare providers, patients, and citizens alike.
While coming to Dajabón and performing a large number of surgeries would be life-changing for the patients, our goal is to operate with the local surgeons and to provide continuing medical education. This collaboration provides patients the opportunity to return to their full productive lives. The doctors are then able to confidently operate on any future patients and know they have colleagues in LIG Global willing to provide assistance as needed with ongoing communication via Telehealth.
During a single visit to Dajabón, we are able to operate with the local doctors on anywhere from 40 to 60 patients. While some patients require complex surgical interventions, others require minor procedures that would create major opportunities in their lives. Some of the frequent procedures that the LIG Global team has conducted in Dajabón include:
Hysterectomies; removal of pelvic masses
Hernia and Hydrocele Repairs
Wound repair and revisions
Urological surgeries on men and women
As is the case with most surgeries, the patients require follow-up care. Through the relationships we’ve developed with the local medical staff, we are able to use telehealth services to follow up with patients and their local providers. Together we develop a follow up treatment plan and we remain available to the local team. This helps guarantee the safety of the patients as well as continuing to educate the local healthcare professionals while removing the barrier of distance from the equation.
As you move further away from the large Dominican cities of Santiago and Santo Domingo, the medical infrastructure sees a steep decline in both quality and availability. Many of the hospitals lack resources they need to optimize care. To address these issues, LIG Global works throughout the year to collect the medical supplies needed by the doctors and nurses in Dajabón. With support from our generous donors, we have been able to supply our friends in Dajabón with:
Upgraded or previously nonexistent surgical equipment
Essential personal protective equipment for providers
Invaluable medications for patients follow-up and continued care
Many times the types of goods that we are able to bring with us to the Dominican Republic are commonplace in United States’ hospitals, but are much harder to come by in areas like Dajabón. These supplies are crucial to ensuring patient safety and health. LIG Global continues to need both monetary and physical donations. Donate now!
The LIG Global Youth Network is a unique opportunity for school-aged leaders from high school through medical school to fully immerse themselves in the world of global health. While many of our Youth Network volunteers have an interest in medicine, we have had many volunteers with many diverse interests (public health, environmental science, human rights, law, art, dance and education) join us on our trips to Dajabón. This immersive opportunity gives volunteers the opportunity to:
Learn alongside doctors and nurses in a hospital setting
Interact with patients during intake and post-operative care
Run a summer camp for students at a local school
Get exposure to local Peace Corps Volunteers
Gain a better understanding of the world around us
Forge strong relationships and grow their network of like-minded peers and mentors
If you are interested in joining the LIG Youth Network as a volunteer in Dajabón, or throughout the year in the United States, fill out our volunteer form here! If you are interested in providing a directed donation toward the youth network click here.
Through its partnership with a local family in Dajabón, LIG Global is able to plan and interact with the members of the community. Over the last decade we have formed lasting friendships. Through their local organization, they provide LIG Global with meals and camaraderie in return for our tireless efforts in their community.
LIG Global has also been able to supply necessary goods to other local community members as well as utilizing local services. We have consistently contracted the same company for local transportation and security each year. These relationships have allowed us to meet and interact with the Dajabón locals in an intimate and comfortable setting. Together, with the community and our unique partnerships, LIG Global is helping to positively change the lives of the Dajabón community.
Our vision of a global community, where all people have access to healthcare and where human dignity is cherished, is within reach during our lifetime. The LIG Global Foundation’s vision is that of a global community in which all persons have access to excellent health-care, where no one is forgotten, and where human dignity is cherished.