Update from Policlínico Peruano Americano, Peru
March 2, 2010
Thus far, 2010 has been a busy year for Real Medicine Foundation Peru. At the Policlinico Peruano Americano in San Clemente, Pisco, patient volume remains consistent at approximately 60 patients per day. Respiratory infections still compose the largest portion of cases, comprising 36% of total cases. This number is the same percentage of respiratory cases from Jan-Feb 2009. Being in the southern hemisphere, it is summer in Peru right now.Â Come July and August (the Peruvian winter), we expect a spike in respiratory infections as high as 50% of total cases, as we have seen in years past. Below is an overview of the cases seen at the clinic in the month of January.
Also in January, 47 ultrasounds were performed and 160 laboratory samples were taken. Though a small fee is collected for these services, we are careful to preserve the free nature of the clinic and the fees are waived for those families who cannot afford to pay.
Education and outreach has always been an integral aspect of our work at the clinic. The nursing staff has been conducting a weekly educational presentation in the waiting room for the patients.Â These presentations are often attended by additional people from the community who are interested in the weekly topic. Most recently, topics have included pneumonia, alcoholism, fever, and diarrhea.
Peruvians Helping Haitians:
Being much too familiar with the horror of a catastrophic earthquake, on January 23, the clinic team expressed their empathy and support for Haiti by organizing a fundraiser to benefit the earthquake victims. The Peruvians opened their wallets during a time of need, raising $300 for RMF's Haiti relief efforts. Magali Mancini Pujalt, the Administrative Director of the Policlinico Peruano Americano, echoed the RMF slogan as their motivation for helping, "friends helping friends," or more appropriately "amigos ayudando amigos." Below are photos of some dedicated RMF Peru volunteers helping to prepare food prior to the fundraiser.
Preparations for Direct Relief Shipment:
We have been busy making arrangements with customs to receive a shipment of medical equipment, supplies, and medicine from Direct Relief International.Â DRI continues to support our clinic, and for that, we are grateful. Over the years, through Direct Relief we have received an ultrasound machine, suction unit, oxygen equipment, hospital beds, exam tables, and a plethora of medicine and supplies. This next shipment will include some additional exam tables, hospital beds, EKG, centrifuge, medicine, and supplies.
Every child (and every adult) who visits the clinic is assessed for malnourishment. Data is collected, and at risk children are monitored over time. We currently have a program in place to monitor severe acute malnourished children. There are currently 12 children with severe acute malnourishment (SAM) in the program and their condition is monitored every week. Preparations are being made to add 7 more children to the program in the next week. The families of the children under surveillance are counseled on appropriate food preparation and how to manage a high-caloric diet for the children. The children are also treated pharmacologically with micronutrients, vitamin A, and ferrous sulfate if they present with accompanied anemia. A proposal is currently being drafted which will greatly expand our malnutrition program by expanding our catchment area to include many small villages in Ica as well as east into the mountainous state of Huancavelica. Field workers will be trained and charged with managing the surveillance programs in their district. In addition to providing food baskets to families in the program which include many nutritious and appropriate foods, we are also exploring the option of using ready-to-use therapeutic foods such as Plumpynut and F100. In January, we saw 337 children and the nutritional assessment breakdown is displayed in the following graph.