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The “itinerant” volunteers

Who they are and how they work these professionals who strengthen the Argentine health system in the middle of the pandemic.

Stories of people
médicos itinerantes

In its passage through the world,  coronavirus  collapsed economies, divided societies, wobbled robust medical systems, highlighted shortcomings in others. And, above all, he tested the strength of the  human factor  in health care. On this issue, Argentina held an open call for  volunteer professionals  to deal with this reality. Who are these new health workers and how do they work?

The invaluable role of volunteering

Since last April, a total of 3800  professionals , including physicians, nurses, kinesiologists and emergentists, have offered   voluntary efforts to unzip the tension of colleagues  fighting the pandemic on the  frontline.

They leave their families for periods of more than 15 days to go and collaborate in places thousands of kilometers from their homes. And when their children ask them why they join that work, the answer is strong: “Because they have studied and prepared for it.” There is no room for doubt or petty. They know the responsibility they took and nothing stops them.

Volunteers never just keep their schedule and go. They work, motivate, commit. They leave their families, their jobs, and they're going to go into places they don't know completely, to give it all.

The pandemic leaves visible not only what the health system is like, but the   human quality   of its members.

They belong to the program “ Itinerant Professionals ” in charge of Judit Díaz Bazán, undersecretary of Quality, Regulation and Control in the portfolio led by Ginés Gonzalez García, current Minister of Health of the Argentine Nation.

The  tasks  of the traveller vary with each trip: in some cases, they work in direct patient care and in others training their peers to adapt to work in critical care units.

One of the biggest problems lies in the  training  needed to care for patients in intensive care, a task that in a normal context takes years, but that the crisis forced to accelerate.

 María Victoria Enriquez  is part of the National Directorate of Nursing and, as responsible for these trainings, has travelled around the country to “train trainers”.In dialogue with the press, Enriquez highlighted the example of Chaco, where volunteers were able to train and train their local colleagues to, after a lot of effort, lower the tension in the system.

On the other hand, public universities  have also been at the service of the State and have carried out accompaniment, follow-up, territorial work or collaboration with health providers ,  since the first confirmed cases of coronavirus in the country.eacute; s voluntary work together, the follow-up of confirmed cases and close contacts, the accompaniment of risk   groups   such as older adults, as well as face-to-face tasks by students of health careers in health operations.uacute; active search of suspicious cases in  vulnerable neighborhoods.

The road ahead is still long and the task of volunteers will remain necessary. Respect and value those who breastfeed the pandemic becomes an act of gratitude. Even more when a sector of society manifests itself against quarantine or  dismisses care .

Publication Date: 24/09/2020

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