ParaguayParaguay is a landlocked country located in Central South America and shares borders with Argentina to the southwest, Brazil to the east and Bolivia to the northwest, and covers an area of about 406,752 km2 (The World Factbook). Over the next one year, I will travel to and live in Paraguay as a doctor. I intend to live and work in a rural area in the eastern region (Paranena) because it is this population that bears most of the country’s problems. The main challenge I may face is the language barrier because the majority of the population speak the Guarani language. I expect the climate to be okay because winter, with an average temperature of 18.5°C, is quite tolerable.
The ratio of physicians to population in the country is a mere 1.23:1000. I, therefore, expect to see many patients who do not have access to a doctor. I will, particularly, focus on children and women because of the high infant mortality rate at 20.05 deaths per 1000 live births, and maternal mortality rate at 125.3 deaths per 100,000 live births (The World Factbook). One proven way to reduce the number of deaths in young children is to improve access to clean water and sanitation. The access to improved drinking water and sanitation facilities in rural Paraguay is 94% and 78.4% respectively. I intend to advocate for the need to treat drinking water and build more toilets in the region.
Apart from working, I also intend to visit the magnificent Iguazu Falls, which is one of the UNESCO World Natural Heritage sites. This is the site where the Paraguay River forms the boundary of Paraguay, Argentina, and Brazil. I will then visit the Panteon Nacional de Los Heroes to learn more about the culture of Paraguay. Asuncion, the capital city of Paraguay, is a famous haven for birds, and as a birdwatcher I will ensure that I visit the city.
BIBLIOGRAPHY The World Factbook. The World Factbook: Paraguay. 2015. 19 November 2015 <https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/pa.html>.