A train that tours the country providing health services to vulnerable, remote communities is about to stop in Sonora, where it will provide free consultations to 10,000 people.
Dr. Vagón (Dr. Railcar) will roll into the state on March 24 and spend four days in each of five Sonora towns, offering free services in Cananea, Agua Prieta, Esqueda, Nogales and Puerto Peñasco.
Dr. Vagón began touring in May 2014 and is operated by the private rail company Ferromex, part of Grupo México.
In almost eight years, the health train has visited 23 states and traveled 88,000 kilometers, transporting a team of 65 medical professionals who work and live onboard. The medical team has attended to some 400,000 patients and provided more than 1.5 million consultations since it was launched.
The 17 train cars boast an operating theater and clinics specialized in gynecology, diabetes treatment and general medicine. Patients can take advantage of consultations in nutrition, psychology, pediatrics, geriatrics, optometry and dentistry and receive blood tests, as well as tests for sexual health. They can even have X-rays, ultrasounds and other expensive tests done.
COVID-19 tests are available for patients that are considered at risk of carrying the virus.
Dr. Vagón has also previously helped in the aftermath of natural disasters. It reached communities in the Oaxaca Isthmus region in Ixtepec and Juchitán after the 2017 earthquake and provided relief after the tropical depression in Sinaloa and Sonora in 2018.
In addition to providing health services to the remote communities it visits, the touring train also partners with Cinemex, Mexico’s second largest cinema chain, to set up a free open-air cinema for residents that has so far screened 328 films.
With reports from Milenio