Peru: Peru Flood Relief
Providing Free Medical Care in Santa Eulalia and Quiro: June 13-30, 2017
October 30, 2017
Magali M. de Pujalt
Summary of Activities
RMF has been working in Perú since 2007, when we arrived to offer long-term medical support to victims of the August 15th earthquake. 10 years later, our health clinic, Policlínico Peruano Americano, is still operating successfully in San Clemente, Pisco, providing free health care to those most in need. In addition to the medical services and outreaches provided by the clinic, in January 2017, Policlínico Peruano Americano began serving as a base of operations to collect and distribute food, clean water, clothing, and other supplies for flood victims.
In May 2017, after several planning sessions, meetings with authorities, and trips to assess areas affected by the flooding, RMF Perú decided to focus our flood relief efforts on several affected towns northeast of the capital city of Lima: Barba Blanca, Huinco, San Pedro de Casta, Santa Eulalia, and surrounding communities in need of aid.
This report covers 18 days of project implementation, from June 13, 2017 to June 30, 2017. During this time, RMF Perú’s outreach team, consisting of 2 medical doctors, 2 psychologists, 1 nursing tech, 1 pharmacy tech, and 3 logistics/coordination team members accomplished the following activities:
- Set up and operated 2 temporary (free) health clinics
- Provided primary health care services
- Provided individual psychology consultations and a group workshop
- Distributed medicines, insect repellent, hygiene kits, and warm blankets
- Provided health education and preventative talks on dengue and Zika
- Visited area schools to distribute insect repellent and provide health education and preventative talks on dengue and Zika
Luis Monti Parish
Juan Medina, coordinator for the Luis Monti congregation in Santa Eulalia, came to look for RMF Perú’s team and offered us the parish house to set up our next temporary clinic and provide medical attention to the communities they support.
Luis Monti Parish
Services provided during RMF’s 9-day outreach in Luis Monti parish, Santa Eulalia:
- 566 general medicine consultations
- 315 psychology consultations
- 28 children participated in a psychology discussion about values
- 150 blankets distributed to the elderly
- 215 bottles of insect repellent distributed to children at the Virgen del Carmen school
Nicolás de Piérola (Quirio), Chosica
Quiro is organized into four zones, and each zone has its own city council. For this mission, we set up our clinic in the civic center of Zone 1. For nine days (June 22–30, 2017), RMF Perú’s outreach team provided the community with free medical and psychological services, as well as blankets and insect repellent.
Nicolás de Piérola (Quirio), Chosica
Services provided during RMF’s 9-day outreach in Nicolás de Piérola (Quirio), Chosica:
- 809 general medicine consultations
- 428 psychology consultations
- 150 blankets distributed
- 366 bottles of insect repellent distributed
- 12 hygiene kits distributed to the girls from the children’s shelter
RMF has been active in Peru since 2007, when we provided earthquake relief and established our still successful health clinic, Policlínico Peruano Americano, in San Clemente, Pisco. 10 years later, as of March 18th, 2017, ongoing flooding and mudslides, especially in the northern parts of the country, have caused at least 90 deaths, damaged an estimated 150,000 homes and businesses, and caused extensive damage to infrastructure and crops.
RMF Peru continues to offer free health services at our Policlínico Peruano Americano, and since January 2017, we have been collecting and distributing essential supplies such as food, clean water, and clothing for flood victims. We are also continuing our health outreach campaigns and planning medical outreaches farther north, in the regions that have been hit hardest by the flooding.
- Provide free health services to those most in need
- Collect and distribute essential supplies, such as food, clean water, and clothing for flood victims
- Conduct medical outreaches in harder-hit areas farther north
- Continue strategizing with our in-country team how to best serve those affected by the flood
Click to enlarge
Alina Carrillo Cashahuilca
Cannabis Oil treatment for Rett syndrome
Alina Carrillo Cashahuilca is a 7-year-old girl from Santa Eulalia. Her mother told us that Alina was born naturally, and her weight and height were normal. While her mother was at work, Alina would stay with her grandmother. When Alina was 2 years old, her grandmother noticed changes in her development, like problems with balance and rubbing her hands together. When the grandmother told Alina’s mother, she took Alina to the doctor, who initiated tests to determine the cause of young girl’s symptoms. A scan of Alina’s brain showed a small tumor, and the pediatric neurology specialist diagnosed her with Rett syndrome. Alina’s mother went to six other specialists for second opinions, but sadly, their diagnoses were the same. Each day, Alina experienced new symptoms associated with the illness, such as self-harm by biting her hands, changes in her motor skills, irritability, and crying in her sleep.
Treatment prescribed by the specialist:
Valpakine ½ tsp. daily
Gambutrol ½ tsp. daily
Risperidone ¼ tablet daily
Since her symptoms did not improve and Alina cried all day, her parents made a radical change in her treatment. With the help of other parents, who have children with similar cases, they were able to buy cannabis oil. They have been giving Alina the oil for two years, two drops a day. As a result, Alina now sleeps through the night, and her appetite has increased. In addition, the latest scan of Alina’s brain (performed yearly) did not show the tumor.
As expected, Alina’s parents have put together all the necessary care. The mother stays home caring for Alina, and the father finds odd jobs to be able to pay for Alina’s treatment, including physical therapy, which she has received for four consecutive years at a therapy center in Chosica.
First time visiting a specialist
Omar Esteban is a 12-year-old boy. His mother explained that he was born healthy, but at the age of 2, Omar started having seizures. His mother was only able to take him to a pediatrician, who diagnosed him with epilepsy. Omar is now handicapped and has never been examined by a specialist. His mother brought him to RMF’s outreach clinic because he had some spots and small hives on his face and behind his ears. Omar cannot not walk or talk, so we only spoke with his mother. Omar’s father is a landscaper for the town. The family is low-income and Omar’s mother is illiterate.
At our outreach clinic, Dr. Richard recommended that Omar visit a neurologist, and our team is trying to connect with social assistance at the Chosica hospital to set up an appointment for Omar with a specialist (the specialist only comes once a month to the hospital). Dr. Richard suspects that the child suffered from meningitis, but he will need to be examined. For the present, Dr. Richard also diagnosed Omar’s minor ailment and prescribed treatment.
Treatment: Clotrimazole cream, apply after washing, twice a day