Salvadoran Army Brings Healthcare Services to Disabled Veterans

Salvadoran Army Brings Healthcare Services to Disabled Veterans

By Dialogo
May 01, 2015





Roberto Linares, a 54-year-old veteran of the Salvadoran Armed Forces who lost one of his legs from a gunshot wound that became infected during the armed conflict of the 1980s, used to walk with difficulty because his prosthesis was damaged.

But he wept with joy at receiving free medical treatment during a comprehensive medical outreach day on April 7 at the facilities of the General Tomás Regalado 1st Infantry Brigade of the Salvadoran Armed Forces (FAES) in the department of Santa Ana.

“I am filled with happiness because, thanks to the Armed Forces, I now have a new pair of crutches so I can walk better; they repaired my prosthesis; and they gave me the medicine I need for the pain in my leg," Linares said. "My companions and I are grateful."

Veteran José Velasco, 51, is among the former Soldiers filled with gratitude. “I am completely indebted to the Armed Forces for bringing us everything we needed to receive treatment," he said. "My children received the vaccinations and vitamins they needed. We defended the country and, even though we were wounded, we are proud to belong to these Armed Forces.”

Linares and Velasco were among about 500 injured or disabled people who received medical treatment from specialists with the Ministry of Health’s Comprehensive Basic Healthcare System (SIBASI), who provide continuing humanitarian support to the Armed Forces.

“We provide support for these Armed Forces activities because we can bring them healthcare services directly, be it general medicine or dentistry, or specialized care for the disabled," said Dr. Juan Héctor Jubis, a SIBASI representative. "As an institution, we always support them."

Comprehensive support for veterans and their families


That support was evident during a day of outreach, in which medical professionals treated combat-wounded veterans and also provided healthcare to family members of the injured Soldiers. Treating families is one of the Salvadoran Armed Forces’ priorities, said Colonel Luis Pérez Carbajal, Chief of the Coordination and Disabled Support Unit of the Armed Forces (UCADFA).

“We bring healthcare services to the entire family of disabled persons or wounded veterans, because we know that many of them have mobility problems and their families are in no position to transport them,” Col. Pérez said.

The family members also received treatment from ophthalmologists, dentists, pediatricians, and psychologists. A team of specialists in viral diseases formed working groups to show people obtaining services the best hygienic practices and how to maintain a healthy environment at home.

Among those who obtained family healthcare was Norma Martínez, 45, the wife of a combat-wounded veteran; she brought her 7- and 12-year-old children so they could receive basic dental care.

“I’m happy, because my children had a dental cleaning and they filled some molars that had cavities. Our family has limited income, and we could not have paid for the treatment or medications. We are grateful to the Armed Forces for this humanitarian gesture,” Martínez said at the end of the appointment.

The Armed Forces Professional Rehabilitation Center (CERPROFA) also provides support to wounded veterans by repairing prostheses and delivering bandages, canes, crutches, walkers, and other items.

More independence for veterans


Healthcare services and equipment such as wheelchairs help injured veterans become and remain independent.

Infantry Colonel Sifrido Rivas Peña, the DM-9 commander
for the department of La Paz, believes that the healthcare services and equipment provided during the medical outreach days are very valuable because they can also deliver wheelchairs to disabled veterans so they can be more independent.

“What we are trying to do is help these men who, at the time, defended their country even though it cost them their very lives," said Col. Rivas. "Therefore, we must not abandon them. On the contrary, the Armed Forces gives them every assistance they can."

UCADFA also helps Military personnel by promoting the inherent rights and liberties of persons with disabilities. The organization promotes the full participation of disabled people in Salvadoran society.

The Armed Forces Social Welfare Institute and the Wounded and Disabled Combat Veterans Fund contribute to these efforts by updating the database of those wounded or disabled during the armed conflict. This information is useful for creating new projects to benefit the program clients.

UCADFA will develop more medical campaigns, Col. Pérez said, with the goal of bringing healthcare services to where the disabled persons live, to promote a healthy lifestyle, and to improve the quality of life for them and their families.






Roberto Linares, a 54-year-old veteran of the Salvadoran Armed Forces who lost one of his legs from a gunshot wound that became infected during the armed conflict of the 1980s, used to walk with difficulty because his prosthesis was damaged.

But he wept with joy at receiving free medical treatment during a comprehensive medical outreach day on April 7 at the facilities of the General Tomás Regalado 1st Infantry Brigade of the Salvadoran Armed Forces (FAES) in the department of Santa Ana.

“I am filled with happiness because, thanks to the Armed Forces, I now have a new pair of crutches so I can walk better; they repaired my prosthesis; and they gave me the medicine I need for the pain in my leg," Linares said. "My companions and I are grateful."

Veteran José Velasco, 51, is among the former Soldiers filled with gratitude. “I am completely indebted to the Armed Forces for bringing us everything we needed to receive treatment," he said. "My children received the vaccinations and vitamins they needed. We defended the country and, even though we were wounded, we are proud to belong to these Armed Forces.”

Linares and Velasco were among about 500 injured or disabled people who received medical treatment from specialists with the Ministry of Health’s Comprehensive Basic Healthcare System (SIBASI), who provide continuing humanitarian support to the Armed Forces.

“We provide support for these Armed Forces activities because we can bring them healthcare services directly, be it general medicine or dentistry, or specialized care for the disabled," said Dr. Juan Héctor Jubis, a SIBASI representative. "As an institution, we always support them."

Comprehensive support for veterans and their families


That support was evident during a day of outreach, in which medical professionals treated combat-wounded veterans and also provided healthcare to family members of the injured Soldiers. Treating families is one of the Salvadoran Armed Forces’ priorities, said Colonel Luis Pérez Carbajal, Chief of the Coordination and Disabled Support Unit of the Armed Forces (UCADFA).

“We bring healthcare services to the entire family of disabled persons or wounded veterans, because we know that many of them have mobility problems and their families are in no position to transport them,” Col. Pérez said.

The family members also received treatment from ophthalmologists, dentists, pediatricians, and psychologists. A team of specialists in viral diseases formed working groups to show people obtaining services the best hygienic practices and how to maintain a healthy environment at home.

Among those who obtained family healthcare was Norma Martínez, 45, the wife of a combat-wounded veteran; she brought her 7- and 12-year-old children so they could receive basic dental care.

“I’m happy, because my children had a dental cleaning and they filled some molars that had cavities. Our family has limited income, and we could not have paid for the treatment or medications. We are grateful to the Armed Forces for this humanitarian gesture,” Martínez said at the end of the appointment.

The Armed Forces Professional Rehabilitation Center (CERPROFA) also provides support to wounded veterans by repairing prostheses and delivering bandages, canes, crutches, walkers, and other items.

More independence for veterans


Healthcare services and equipment such as wheelchairs help injured veterans become and remain independent.

Infantry Colonel Sifrido Rivas Peña, the DM-9 commander
for the department of La Paz, believes that the healthcare services and equipment provided during the medical outreach days are very valuable because they can also deliver wheelchairs to disabled veterans so they can be more independent.

“What we are trying to do is help these men who, at the time, defended their country even though it cost them their very lives," said Col. Rivas. "Therefore, we must not abandon them. On the contrary, the Armed Forces gives them every assistance they can."

UCADFA also helps Military personnel by promoting the inherent rights and liberties of persons with disabilities. The organization promotes the full participation of disabled people in Salvadoran society.

The Armed Forces Social Welfare Institute and the Wounded and Disabled Combat Veterans Fund contribute to these efforts by updating the database of those wounded or disabled during the armed conflict. This information is useful for creating new projects to benefit the program clients.

UCADFA will develop more medical campaigns, Col. Pérez said, with the goal of bringing healthcare services to where the disabled persons live, to promote a healthy lifestyle, and to improve the quality of life for them and their families.


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