Rural Ecuadorian populations face a wide range of health care issues rooted in social, economic, and political determinants. A major issue for rural populations is the relative lack of access to high quality, reliable health care. Outpatient facilities are inaccessible and the nearest hospitals are typically hours away in major cities, forcing sick villagers to overcome geographic, economic, and cultural barriers to seek care. Those who are willing and able to pay for health services would greatly prefer to receive quality care in their own community if such facilities were available to them.

Primary Healthcare as a strategy has accomplished much in Ecuador. Nevertheless, women continue to suffer and often die from pregnancy complications. Children continue to die at an alarming rate from infectious diseases. Illnesses such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and arthritis, now more common because of an aging population, are not treated appropriately because most health professionals do not have the capacity to manage these chronic maladies in the rural setting. Only 15% of doctors in Ecuador have residency training, and the vast majority of these physicians live and work in the two major cities.

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Long Road from Quito

A book about Andean Health & Development and the inspiring journey of Dr. David Gaus will be on bookshelves on March 30. Long Road from Quito is written by Tony Hiss. Hiss is the author of 13 books and was a staff writer at the New Yorker for 30 years. Since then, he has been a visiting scholar at New York University.

A book signing by David Gaus will take place at Hammes Bookstore on the University of Notre Dame’s campus on June 1 at 11:30am.

Purchase Long Road from Quito

“If you are lucky, a few times in life you will come across a person who is able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. It is even rarer still to find in such a leader a genuine sense of humility and a depth of soul that radiates joy and laughter. I know you will enjoy and be inspired by this story of a modern-day man who is as holy as he is innovative, who is as determined as he is fun, and who is both visionary and focused on the set of eyes before him at any given moment.”

—Lou Nanni, from the Foreword

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