Peru: Medical and Dental Outreach in San Clemente
October 8, 2012
Magali M. de Pujalt
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.
Photo: Our partners of the Peruvian American Medical Society Medical kicking off their medical outreach at RMF clinic.
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.
San Clemente is a very impoverished area and all of the services offered are free. The clinic places much importance on prevention and education and this is evident within all facets of the clinic’s operations.
Results and/or accomplishments achieved during this reporting period:
- Another Pap Smear Campaign was conducted in April.
- Dental service at the clinic was started on April 23rd, an additional big step forward to the services we are already providing, as private dental examinations are very high cost for most in San Clemente. For this service, we rely on the volunteer work of Dr. Luisa Reyes who has given her time and skills, and saw patients on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday of the week of April 23rd, from 8.00 am to 1.00 pm. She saw 104 patients in total.
Photo: Selection of new donated Dental supplies
Photo: Dr. Luisa consults with dental patient
- 2 wooden filing cabinets were purchased to help store the clinical files of patients. The number of files has now passed the 15,000 mark; they are required to be kept as paper files by Peruvian law and the Ministry of Health.
- We were sad to see Dra Erika resign on the 15th of May, as everyone including patients was very happy with her work, especially the female patients.
- The Peruvian American Medical Society held their outreach and treatment mission on the 19th-21st of June, counting among the volunteers: 2 Primary Care Specialists, 1 Medical Student, 2 Dentists, 1 Dental Student, 1 Nephrologist, and 2 Psychologists. The Mission also left behind medicine worth $170 to distribute to patients.
Photo: Dr. Hugo with his first patient of the outreach
- We received two donations of dental equipment: 1 halogen lamp, 1 micro motor drill, and 1 set of drill pieces.
Photo: Dr. Elba greeting patients lined up for the PAMS Mission outreach
Number served/number of direct project beneficiaries.
Total Number of Direct Beneficiaries: 3,378
Policlínico Peruano Americano
- Patients seen: 3,033
- Average per day: 50.55
- New Patients: 366
- Male: 814
- Female: 2,219
- <1 year: 289
- 1 – 4 years: 668
- 5 – 9 years: 248
- 10 – 14 years: 156
- 15 – 19 years: 148
- 20 – 59 years: 1,362
- 60+ years: 162
- Pap Smear Campaigns: 9 patients
- 249 patients were seen during the PAMS campaign by a doctor and psychologist, and 87 by the dentist (see photos at end of report)
(Please see Appendix A – Morbidity & Appendix B – Demographics)
Photo: (left) Psychology workshop, (right) family consults with visiting doctors.
Maritza Cruz Colque, 8 months old, medical history No. 14,497. Her mother Juana Colque Galdoz, 23 years old, brought Maritza to the clinic with symptoms of a respiratory infection.
They have been in San Clemente for a month and came from Puno, her family coming seasonally to work in the field and then return to their village. Her husband, Don Cruz Banegas Seferino, 21 years of age, works growing cotton and she cares for her young daughter, living in a rented room
Juana studied until the fifth year of school, and is the fifth of seven children; she had been dedicated for much of her childhood in helping her parents raise sheep. At age 19 she met her husband Seferino and both worked hard in the field in Puno. With the birth of their young daughter Maritza, Juana stopped working to care for her daughter which increased their economic needs, so they decided to come to San Clemente seasonally in order to save some money to meet Maritza’s needs.
They are very grateful to RMF and the Policlínico Peruano Americanofor the care provided for Maritza’s respiratory tract infection as they did not have the money to buy the right medicine and were able to receive it for free at the clinic.
Rosendo Sanchez Yupa is a 61-year-old resident of the district of San Clemente. At the age of 15 years he left school in order to help his sick mother, studying only until his junior year and then committed to working in farming. He is seperated from his wife and 6 children but still supports them financially
In the month of November 2010, Rosendo had to deal with a harsh diagnosis of invasive squamous cell carcinoma of the pharynx, receiving unconditional support from his children. He traveled to Lima where he received treatment, underwent surgery and chemotherapy and radiation treatments, eventually recovering fully.
He now lives alone in San Clemente, but visits his children frequently. By mortgaging their farmland to the bank in order to afford the expenses claimed by his cancer treatment he has to pay a monthly fee to avoid losing money.
Don Rosendo came to the clinic with symptoms of acute bronchitis and lumbar pain syndrome, for which treatment was given, and Rosendo was very grateful for the support as he deals with his tough financial issues.
Taype Emily Bustamante, 20 years old with history No. 13,543 was born in the Chanchamayo province, district of Pichanaqui -Junin, and is the youngest of five siblings.
Currently she lives alone with her son Joshua who is 1 year and 2 months old in a rented room and works hard in a fish factory to support herself and her son. Despite not having had the support of his father who is now 60 years old, she wants to do much more work to support him.
For Emily and her son to have the support of RMF and the Policlínico Peruano Americanoin San Clemente is essential to meet their health and that of her family, she came to the clinic with acute gastroenterocolitis and with our care and proper treatment, she has recovered and is very grateful.