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The Most Distant Places
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Barrio de Paz

What happens when people in remote rural areas can't afford to travel to the hospital for surgery? Dr. Edgar Rodas has created an innovative solution: an operating theater built on the back of a truck that can travel to treat people living in the poorest—and hardest to reach—areas of Ecuador.

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Directed by Mike Seely.

Originally featured in the ViewChange Online Film Contest.

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Segment 1

DR. EDGAR RODAS [President and Founder, Cinterandes]
Scissors. We decided to take surgery to the underserved parts of the country by means of an operating room built on a truck.
TITLE
The Most Distant Places
DR. EDGAR RODAS
That's a very humane way to deliver surgery, I think. People in their own environment, they don't have to be separated from the family, from the home.
VOICEOVER
Almost 5 million Ecuadorians live in impoverished rural areas with little or no access to basic health services. Dr. Edgar Rodas tackles this problem by bringing the hospital to the people. Since 1994, his Cinterandes foundation has been providing surgical care for hard-to-reach communities spread across Ecuador. Oscar Fuerte is a fish trader. Suffering from a condition that requires surgery, he cannot work to support his family.
OSCAR FUERTE
Where are we going to get money for an operation?
INTERVIEWER
What kind of operation is it?
OSCAR FUERTE
I have an umbilical hernia. This hernia -- I'm not able to work with this.
DR. EDGAR RODAS
When we go to towns that are far away and very poor, we don't charge absolutely anything. The idea is that nobody, nobody can not have an operation because they do not have enough money.
VOICEOVER
After six months of living with a disabling hernia, Oscar is ready for his operation.
DR. EDGAR RODAS
Oscar Fuerte is a leader in the community and has lots of friends. All the community was concerned about him.
TITLE
Two weeks later.
OSCAR FUERTE
Hello?
DR. EDGAR RODAS
Oscar, this is Dr. Rodas. How are you? You haven't had any problems? Great, I'm very happy.
OSCAR FUERTE
You need food to develop your bones. Here, the fish comes from the sea to your table. Health is very important. If I'm not alive, who takes care of the family? No one else!
DR. EDGAR RODAS
For the general public, health is just the absence of disease. To me, health is related with every human activity. We have an Andean definition of health: Health is the harmonic coexistence of human beings with themselves, others, and the environment.
TITLE
[end credits]