Posted by: calloftheandes | April 4, 2012

Spiritual and Physical Blended at Annual Medical Conference in Ecuador

In venues linked by satellite signals, more than 800 healthcare workers from across Ecuador viewed the inner wonders of the womb at a mission-sponsored gynecology and obstetrics conference.

Some 430 people attended sessions of the Jornadas Médicas (medical conference) in Quito. Another 400 attendees throughout the nation viewed the Quito satellite feed at university campuses and other locations. They listened to specialists from the U.S. and Ecuador. Topics at the HCJB Global Hands continuing education event ranged from the treatment of ovarian cancer to handling herpes or other sexually transmitted diseases during pregnancy.

Dr. Guadalupe Santamaria of Hospital Vozandes Quito teaches suturing in a Jornadas Médicas workshop.

The event featured five main topics: gynecology, obstetrics, cervical pathology, adolescent mothers, and care of the fetus. Of the Feb. 13-17 sessions, Dr. Ana Gabriela Villacrés said that that “Love in a Time of AIDS: A Conflict of Worldviews” ranked highly with her. She added that Dr. Richard Douce talked not only “about religion or monogamous relationships but also [admonished us] to preserve our bodies, to preserve our love—not not just for [our own benefit] but for God.” Earlier, Dr. Oswaldo Vásconez, a physician at Hospital Vozandes-Quito (HVQ), had discussed medical aspects of treating AIDS during pregnancy.

“Some themes, like adolescent issues, lent themselves quite well to moving into more spiritual topics,” said Clara Chuma, an intensive care unit nurse at HVQ. She was impressed by speakers’ efforts to incorporate Scripture and biblical principles into their lectures.

“They made us aware that our health, our lives, medicine, technology—it all turns back to the Creator,” Chuma related. Guest speakers from the U.S. included physicians Emanuel Trabuco, Ola Famuyide, John Coppes, Roberto González, Norman Davies and William Rodney. Douce, a missionary doctor in Ecuador since 1990, was a conference speaker at the first Jornadas Médicas in 1987.

This year’s conference was the 25th anniversary of the event and the 10th Jornadas Médicas Virtuales for the Universidad Técnica Particular de Loja (Catholic university in Loja, Ecuador). Twenty-one remote sites received the signal generated at the Larson Conference Center on the campus of Radio Station HCJB.

Villacrés, an Ecuadorian physician in residency at HVQ, deemed next year’s theme of pediatrics valuable for general practice physicians and specialists alike. “It helps us to offer better treatment to children,” she said. “They’re not just little adults. Their physiology is completely different from that of adults.”



  1. […] the conference is considered the core academic event at Reach Beyond’s Hospital Vozandes-Quito (HVQ) each year, due to unforeseen circumstances, […]

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