Now that flood waters have receded, mud and stagnant pools of water remain, causing a rising number of Dengue and Zika cases. Many areas now have restored access to clean water, but poorer, more remote towns still have no reliable source of clean water. Winter will be arriving soon, and although the cold weather will help lower cases of mosquito-borne illness, people are in need of shelter and warm blankets.
During this reporting period RMF served flood victims in need by providing:
Although San Clemente, the poorest district of Pisco, where RMF Perú is based, had been affected by the flooding, our team knew that the most devastated areas were farther north. After meeting with authorities and completing several initial trips, traveling inland to treat children and conducting health education at the Pámpano school; traveling north to Cañete, where we found that the children’s shelter had already received help and other affected residents did not require medical assistance; and traveling farther north towards Lima, where we spoke with residents of two additional towns that needed bug spray and fumigation, but did not require the level of help we wish to provide, RMF Perú’s team reached the towns of Barba Blanca and Huinco.
RMF Perú’s team for the outreach:
Barba Blanca is a small town north of Lima, and is in very poor condition. When our team first visited in early May 2017, we found the small community of about 50 people in need of fumigation and bug spray, medical treatment, psychological support (for trauma), and basic necessities such as clothing, warm blankets, and water.
Huinco, a slightly larger, high-altitude town close by, was in similar condition. In this community of about 40 families, our team found houses collapsed and a non-functioning health center. The people of Huinco were also in need of fumigation and bug spray, medical treatment, psychological support (for trauma), and basic necessities such as clothing, warm blankets, and water.
In Huinco a school where 20 children, ages 3–5, were attending, now had 10 children attending because parents were afraid to let their children go anywhere. The teachers were asking for the help of a psychologist; the children are traumatized.
RMF Perú’s Executive Director traveled to the capital city of Lima to procure basic medical equipment, medical supplies, medicines, insect repellent, mosquito nets, blankets, and other supplies needed for the project. She also purchased essential items to assemble hygiene kits: T-shirts, socks, underwear, soap, shampoo, towels, flashlights, and diapers. The supplies were transported from Lima and stored in a secure room of the hotel where RMF Perú’s Executive Director was staying. The same day, our team arrived from San Clemente to take inventory of all purchases, coordinate, and organize all supplies for the project.
Because the area is about five hours from our base of operations in San Clemente, we would need transportation for staff and supplies, as well as a safe building to house our health clinic. Santa Eulalia, a larger, nearby town of about 5,000 residents, offered to let RMF use a community building for our clinic. RMF Perú’s team immediately began planning our strategy to assist the communities of Barba Blanca and Huinco, as well as any needy residents of San Pedro de Casta, Santa Eulalia, and surrounding small towns.
In order to ensure a high-impact campaign and to reach a large number of beneficiaries, RMF Perú Executive Director Magali Mancini de Pujalt returned to Santa Eulalia on May 10th, 2017. She stayed for 5 days to coordinate the project, meeting with local community leaders to ensure needs-based service provision, security, and community awareness of the planned outreach. These leaders included the sub-prefect of San Pedro de Casta, a community 45 minutes north of Huinco with a population of approximately 400 people. The outreach was also advertised on the radio.
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.
Target population of 5,450 with an additional 40 families.