In poor communities like the colonias, good health is the most basic need and yet so often the most difficult to find. With a small local staff and visiting volunteer healthcare providers from both Mexico and the United States with specialties across many fields, Casa Bugambilia provides high quality treatment for complex medical problems, always with the purpose of healing both the body and the spirit.
The Casa Bugambilia Albergue
Care for the ill and abandoned is at the heart of Casa Bugambilia’s mission. Even before the Casa Bugambilia facility was built, Dr. Nancy and the volunteers supporting her work reached out to those cast off. Bonifascio, the first patient, was found in 2002 living alone under a bush next to a shack. He was 95 years old and very frail. He lived comfortably under Dr. Nancy’s care his last few months and was reunited with his family just before he died. There have been many similar stories since then.
The Casa Bugambilia albergue (“medical shelter”) is the only one of its kind in the State of Tamaulipas. It has capacity to care for up to 25, as well as space for physical and occupational therapy. While there, the men and women receive shelter, nutritious meals and medical treatment with dignity, as well as a place in a healing community until they can return to their families.
Diabetes Prevention and Care
In the colonias, evidence of the problems caused by untreated diabetes is everywhere. It is difficult to cross a main intersection without finding a man or woman begging from a wheelchair. They are usually missing one or both legs, amputated caused by untreated diabetes. A few years ago, a Casa Bugambilia team went house to house, informally reviewing suspected cases of diabetes. There were 89 people needing treatment out of 125 tested. In response, Casa Bugambilia increased its efforts to provide a comprehensive treatment program, including nutrition, education, exercise classes and medical care.
Medical Consultations and Preventive Health Campaigns
When even a nominal payment of 10 pesos (less than one dollar) for medicine or an office visit may mean a family will go without food, the free medical care provided at Casa Bugambilia is critical. The Casa Bugambilia doctors provide over 4,000 consultations annually. Sometimes its treatment for a minor complaint, such as a child’s ear infection. But left untreated, the result could be hearing loss and poor achievement at school. For more complicated cases, a visit to Casa Bugambilia may be only the first step of care as Dr. Nancy and her staff arrange for specialist consultations and treatment.
Preventive Health Campaigns
With the assistance of volunteer medical professionals, Casa Bugambilia conducts campaigns designed to detect and treat medical conditions that can become debilitating or even life threatening, such as diabetes and cervical cancer.
Children with Special Needs
Casa Bugambilia reaches out to colonia children who have physical or emotional conditions that require shelter, medical treatment, medicine or medical equipment. In instances where special treatment is required, Casa Bugambilia helps arrange consultations with specialists and surgery, both in Mexico and the United States, and assists with transportation and other necessities. Dr. Nancy also works with the Mi Casa, a home for children removed from their family because of abuse and neglect, to assure that each of them receive the specialized medical care they may need.