Peru on world map

Peru – First week in New Clinic

December 14, 2007 - Peru

by Steve Henrichon

One week after our inauguration, Rene and I left for five days.  We thought it best to leave the clinic in Guillermo’s hands so he can begin making his own decisions.  It is our goal for us to be involved in the clinic as little as possible so the clinic can be as self sufficient as possible.  Anyways, we took a 12 hour bus ride to Arequipa.  Arequipa is the gateway to Colca Canyon which is the deepest canyon in the world.  After trekking, camping, mountain biking, and rafting in the canyon, we made our way back to Pisco.  Since we took the overnight bus, we arrived back at the clinic at 6:30 am.  Even 1 ½ hours before the clinic opens, there was already about thirty people waiting in line.  I couldn’t believe it.  We walked past the crowd and a child runs ups a hugs me and everyone laughs.

In the first couple weeks, we have been seeing between 35 and 60 patients per day.  The majority of the people arrive in the morning.  Even the people who arrive at the clinic just before we open may still find themselves at the back of the line where it may take hours for them to be seen.  Everyone is patient however.  We play educational movies in the waiting room and we provide crayons and coloring paper for the children to help keep them entertained.

We have had to tweak the process a little bit which was to be expected.  To help handle the patient load, we brought on a second nurse, named Richard.  Keeping track of 60 people all trying to be seen can be a very daunting task for one nurse alone.

I believe that the people of San Clemente are proud of their clinic. It is a beautiful clinic…clean…safe…and I believe people find it a very comfortable place to go and receive their health care.

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