Hogar de Cristo is a private, non-profit organization. Its main objective is to facilitate healthcare access to a high-risk population northeast of the city of Guayaquil. Respiratory, gastrointestinal, and urinary tract infections are common in this region. Corporation Hogar de Cristo relies on a multidisciplinary team including doctors, nurses, health volunteers, and administrative staff to implement their projects.
The program provides primary health care in four clinics and one principle health center. Health services are provided at low cost thanks to a partnership with the Ministry of Health’s Complementary Health Services Network, so individuals who receive the “Bono Solidario” are able to access free care in the clinics. Now approximately 90% of those who frequent the clinics are not required to pay, and receive not only medical care, but also medicine and diagnostic examinations.
In addition to health centers Hogar de Cristo also provides a school healthcare program, which monitors anemia, weight and height in the months of May, October, and November for local students. This program is provided for free thanks to an exchange program in which foreign volunteers provide free services over a period of one to two years. In addition to this alliance, they maintain a second partnership with Foundation HIV/AIDS which provides testing and control of the virus within Hogar de Cristo’s clinics and health center.
The organization also works in alliance with national and international NGOs to organize Medical Brigades two times a year in rural areas where Hogar de Cristo operates additional development programs. These additional programs include housing support, communal banking, and house-call visits for those with chronic conditions. The Brigades are periodically organized and consist of medical personnel and provision of resources, and are primarily directed towards those benefitting from the aforementioned development programs.
Hogar de Cristo finances approximately 50% of health-related services with income generated from their own projects, including the microfinance project. Clients who do not receive free services provide payment for their own consultations, and the organization receives a small amount of support from national and international partners. Private support plays a critical role in supporting the incentives. The health program is not self-sustainable and requires national or international financial support in order to provide services to the local population.