Expanding the Order’s facilities: targets reached
Five cardiology departments to give patients without financial resources cardiovascular examinations and treatment. This is one of the targets reached last year by the Order of Malta’s National Association in El Salvador. An important result for a country with one of the highest rates of cardiovascular diseases and too few cardiologists. There are only 70 doctors specialised in cardiology nationwide, 70% of whom work exclusively in the capital, San Salvador.
The five departments have been opened in some of the clinics the Order of Malta already runs in five country municipalities: Sonsonate, Chalchuapa, Zacatecoluca, Suchitoto and Santa Tecla. Modern electrocardiographs have been donated to the Sovereign Order of Malta’s embassy in El Salvador by the Rotary Club Bologna Est in cooperation with the Order’s Emilia Orientale and Romagna Delegation. Pedro Andres Houdelot, President of the Salvadorian Association, called the donation a real blessing, since it enables over 40,000 persons to be examined and treated every year.
Again in 2013, on 19 June, a cooperation agreement was signed between the Republic of El Salvador and the Sovereign Order of Malta in the central American nation’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. This agreement arrives after 62 years of diplomatic relations between the two States and the 39 years the Order of Malta’s National Association has been active in the country. A few days later, on 25 June and again in the Foreign Ministry, a postal stamp was presented to commemorate the cooperation agreement, appearing for an entire month on all the correspondence departing from and arriving in El Salvador and on all parcels containing medicines.
The latest initiative is the donation of IT equipment to the Order of Malta’s clinics in El Salvador by the embassy of the Republic of China (Taiwan). In a short ceremony last December, the Ambassador of Taiwan Andrea S. Y. Lee, in the presence of José Ramón Zapata of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Cooperation and Development Department and of Pedrina Rivera, Mayor of Suchitoto, reaffirmed the desire to support the population of El Salvador in close cooperation with the Sovereign Order of Malta’s embassy.