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.
Project implementation was 26 days, from July 1, 2017 to July 27, 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:
During this time, RMF provided a total of 1,763 medical consultations and 1,052 psychological consultations for community members in 4 areas of Chosica and Santa Eulalia. Some of our success stories include:
RMF Perú’s outreach team arrived on July 3, 2017 and began providing medical and psychological services the same day. The consultations were provided in a well-timed, quiet manner, and we remained in this location until July 5. The team also visited the local school of Zone 3, where RMF’s nurse conducted talks on the prevention of dengue and Zika and we distributed bottles of insect repellent to the children.
Services provided during RMF’s 3-day outreach in Nicolás de Piérola (Quirio Zone 3), Chosica:
For this mission, RMF Perú’s outreach team set up our clinic in the community center of Barrio Rímac, which is located a few blocks from the national university La Cantuta (Universidad Nacional de Educación Enrique Guzmán y Valle). Since 1962, this has been a neighborhood frequented by university students, and most of the houses rent rooms to students who come from the city of Lima and other provinces.
Services provided during RMF’s 3-day outreach in Barrio Rímac, Chosica:
RMF Perú outreach team was able to provide 7 days of medical and psychological services to the community, as well as distributing blankets, 7-liter containers of drinking water, and bottles of insect repellent. The townspeople also told us that since the days of the natural disasters, specifically March 16th until now, they have not had drinking water. Every so often, the municipality sends water tanks, but the supply is insufficient for the community, and the water is not potable. This is why we distributed 7-liter containers of drinking water to the patients in this community.
Services provided during RMF’s 7-day outreach in Nicolás de Piérola (Quirio Zone 4), Chosica:
The outreach in Ricardo Palma was very successful, and our team also visited the facilities of the San Pedro Home (Hogar San Pedro), which works under the supervision of the parish. In the San Pedro Home, we found 50 people, both children and adults, who were abandoned by their families. Most suffer from illness or disability. The home is going through economic difficulties, as the donors stopped contributing to its maintenance a few months ago. The home is moving forward under the supervision of Father Raúl, with volunteers from the area who help in caring for the sick, conducting activities, and selling products whose proceeds buy medicine and food for those in the San Pedro Home.
Services provided during RMF’s 9-day outreach in Ricardo Palma, Santa Eulalia:
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.
María Pérez, a 54-year-old woman, was brought by her children to RMF’s outreach clinic for a consultation. At the age of 20, she suffered from a diabetic coma. María’s son had only recently discovered what afflicted her. Her children are dedicated to her care because over time the disease has been afflicting her every day. They also mentioned that María recently received a total hysterotomy. Currently, María says she is experiencing strong throat pain, a persistent cough, and mucus.
Diagnosis: Acute tonsillitis
While in the field, RMF Dr. Jeison was stopped by the neighbor of an elderly woman. The neighbor explained that this elderly woman lives alone and cannot travel easily and asked Dr. Jeison to visit her. This request was communicated to Dr. Diego, who went in search of the patient in the company of team members Ruth and Dr. Jeison.
They found the patient, Marcelina Carranza, approximately 88 years of age, sitting alone at the door of her humble dwelling, which looked very dilapidated. They also observed the condition of disorder and lack of cleanliness in which she lives. Marcelina did not hear well, but said that she cooks for herself, with firewood, in addition to raising some animals, like roosters and chickens. The doctors examined her and found that she showed signs of spatial and mental disorientation, as well as difficulty breathing.
Diagnosis: Pulmonary fibrosis
Eusebio Palomino is an 84-year-old man who lives in Santa Eulalia, where he worked all his life as a stone carver. His work can be seen in the facades of some houses in this area. Eusebio came to RMF’s medical clinic for a consultation, because a neighbor told him that we were conducting a medical campaign and distributing free medicines.
In order to walk, Eusebio leans on the shaft of a broomstick, as he has difficulty mobilizing himself because of a very strong pain in his hip. In addition, he suffers from deafness caused by old age. The doctor examined him.
Diagnosis: Osteoarthritis and gastritis