Angel Conservation
TELEMEDICINE AND COMMUNICATION
REASONS FOR ANGEL CONSERVATION'S INVOLVEMENT IN TELEMEDICINE

Angel Conservation’s mission statement is clear – “working with programs that conserve and protect the cultures of indigenous Peoples”. Therefore the involvement of Angel Conservation in the Telemedicine sector is a logical step.

Members of Fundación Etnika / Angel Conservation initially suggested to internationally renowned, Venezuelan not-for-profit organization Proyecto Maniapure, the installation of a Telemedicine Project in the Kamarata Valley and were instrumental in connecting the project’s architect with the Pemón in Kamarata. Telemedicine is rural medicine without walls, where a team of recently graduated doctors, dentists and nurses are stationed in a faraway community and act as professionals in their fields of expertise, but also as liaisons to renowned specialists in large cities via the Internet. In this manner, cases that would otherwise be hard if not impossible to cure in remote areas are diagnosed and treated via telecommunications, and in the cases in which that is not possible, the patient arrives at the medical center where he/she will be treated already with the preliminary studies done and a procedure scheduled and ready for his/her arrival.

Members of Fundación Etnika / Angel Conservation, acting as ambassadors for Proyecto Maniapure, visited the Kamarata Valley region to inform the Kamarakotos as to the existence of the Telemedicine Project, to ask them if they wanted it for their community and to prepare them to receive it. This effort culminated with the installation of the Internet satellite antenna, in January 2006, in the village of Kamarata, “capital” of the Kamarata Valley. This marked the third Telemedicine site for Proyecto Maniapure and crystallized Fundación Etnika / Angel Conservation’s effort to satisfy the first and foremost need of the Kamarakotos – medical assistance. Up to that recent moment a Kamarakoto needing medical assistance would have to travel by plane to the nearest city at a cost of about one hundred dollars. In the first six weeks after the medical professionals’ arrival in January, seven hundred Kamarakotos had been medically attended. They are being provided with medical, sanitary and dental attention, with special emphasis in the preventive orientation.

Fundacion Etnika / Angel Conservation and Proyecto Maniapure have agreed to partner to further the outreach of the Internet communication model used for the Telemedicine Project by connecting two eco-lodges and a local village with WiFi connection: Kavak and Uruyén, two lodges owned by the Kamarakotos, as well as the village of Santa Marta, which is in close proximity.

As mentioned previously in this site, a sustainable development plan for ecotourism (responsible tourism) would also benefit the conservation of the Pemón culture. We plan to work within the structure and confines of the Telemedicine Project to include these locations for the benefit of medical, cultural and tourism sustainability. A natural bi-product too would be the creation of much needed employment for the local Pemón.

 
 
 
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