Peru: Healthcare outreach for San Clemente and Pisco

January 5, 2012

Magali M. de Pujalt

Project Background

On August 15, 2007, Pisco, Peru experienced a deadly earthquake…7.9 on the Richter scale.   Over 1,000 people died, 40,000 families were left without homes, and 150,000 people were left without water.  The majority of the health infrastructure was damaged or destroyed in the earthquake and the people were in need of medical attention.  The Real Medicine Foundation team was deployed to Peru on October 12 in an effort to assist those in need. 

The primary objective of our project was to bring long-term free healthcare to the victims of the earthquake who had lost their homes, possessions, and in many cases, loved ones. The areas most affected were Pisco, Ica, Chincha, Cañete, and Huancavelica. The site of the RMF clinic is in San Clemente, Pisco. San Clemente is the poorest district of Pisco and the overwhelming majority cannot afford to pay for health services. In addition, outreach programs have been initiated to service the health needs in the very remote and impoverished areas around San Clemente and Pisco.

Project Objectives

  • Treatment of acute and chronic illnesses in the urgent care center “Policlínico Peruano Americano.”  San Clemente is a very impoverished area and all services are offered free of charge. Much attention is given towards prevention and health education within all facets of the clinic’s operations.
  • To improve the comprehensive health of the community through outreach programs, educational programs, and public health initiatives.

Results and/or accomplishments achieved during this reporting period:

  • The Municipality and the Mayor assisted us with provision of supplies to repaint the walls and doors of the clinic and bathrooms.
  • A TV was installed in the waiting room to make the patients’ time spent there more pleasant; this also enables us to show educational and disease prevention videos.
  • Another Pap Smear Campaign was conducted on August.
  • As our patients sometimes arrive outside the clinic at 6am, Fernando, the Head Nurse, decided to place a bench out on the sidewalk where the patients can sit until the 7am opening time. 
  • We reached a financial agreement with the Milagritos Laboratory, who already works with us to give us a small percentage of their monthly samples for free.
  • The dental care services are getting a very good response from our patients.  We are considering extending the hours/services of our dentist if possible.
  • Launching of the Christmas donation campaign to benefit children in need in San Clemente.

Number served/number of direct project beneficiaries: 

Total Number of Direct Beneficiaries: 2,954

  • Patients Seen: 2,954
  • Average per day:  46.88
  • New Patients:  349 


  • Male: 919
  • Female: 2,035 
  • <1 years:  243
  • 1 – 5 years:  632
  • 6 – 14 years:  288
  • 15 – 24 years:  125
  • 25 – 39 years:  125
  • 20 – 59 years:  1,357
  • 60+ years:  184


  • Pap Smear Campaigns total: 10 patients


Bendezu Consilla Yuvisa, 21 years old, from the Ticrapo District of the Castro-Virreina Province. She has been married for 18 years and has two sons, 5 and 2 years old. The family came to live in San Clemente as they could not find any chance of work in agriculture in their home district and was unable to produce enough food for subsistence due to bad weather and landslides. They currently live on San Miguel Street, in a house built of sticks and mats and without running water or drain/sewer. Yuvisa tells us that she also helps her husband washing clothes of other people for money, despite having to carry buckets of water to do so.

Yuvisa and her two sons came to the clinic with various symptoms of fever, cough and rhinitis and a medical examination established a diagnosis of acute tonsillitis for Yuvisa, pharyngitis for the older son and acute bronchiolitis for the younger son.  Yuvisa was given Amoxicillin 500 mg, Ibuprofen 400 mg.  The elder son was diagnosed with suppurative pharyngitis and was given Amoxicillin 250mg, 5ml/8hrs, Paracetamol 120mg/6hrs) and the smallest of the children with acute bronchiolitis was given an injectable treatment of 250 mg IM Procaine Penicillin, and misting of Ambroxol, and all were requested to return in three days for follow up, evaluation and results.


Mrs. Inca Justina Soto is an 83 year old native of the city of Abancay. She came to live in the city of Pisco in 1974, is a widow of 12 years, and has five children, two girls and three boys.  Currently she lives with her ​​younger daughter "Asunta Chipana" and the daughter’s 54 year old husband and their children who are engaged in agriculture as laborers. Her daughter Asunta has difficulty getting around with a sore right knee for the past 5 years but goes ahead undaunted, always with a smile on her face

She came to us with pain in her joints and difficulty moving that started three years ago in her right knee, and was given vitamins, analgesics and 10 mg of Keterolao.


Trillo Catillo Mary Ellen is 55 years old and was born in the city of Pisco, San Clemente.  A single mother with six children, four boys and two girls, who live in a slum, "Santa Rosa"; they do not have electricity, water or sewage. The family lives in a small house, built of wood and mats. Maria Elena tells us that she always feels tired by the difficulties of her life and is barely able to support her family.

Maria arrived at the clinic reporting anxiety, chest pain, headache and blood pressure of 150/90 mmHg. We spoke with her for a while and tried to stabilize her emotionally and she was then given anti-hypertension treatment (Captopril 25 mg) and Alprazolam 0.5 mg and was told to follow up with us shortly.

Country Page: Peru Initiative Page: Policlínico Peruano Americano