Wednesday, June 29, 2011

What is a “Campaña Mèdica”?

For many Peruvians located in remote villages, access to medical care is limited. The cost of transportation when available and time lost from earning a living; often a day or more makes going to a clinic in one of the larger cities a luxury except in emergencies. To provide some help to these communities the practice of campaña mèdica (medical campaign) exists. This activity is not sponsored by any governmental agency and is not done on a regular basis. It is an all-volunteer effort by civic-minded individuals and private institutions.

On Sunday July 3rd Promesa Peru is sponsoring a medical campaign at the village of Collique Alto. A medical campaign has four basic elements; medical personnel, medicines, transportation, and an examination/treatment facility at the village. It has taken time to coordinate but we’ve got most of the pieces in place.

Leading the medical team are doctors Juan Miguel Rodriguez Castillo and Maria Mocarro Willis. Other doctors participating are Nieves Juarez, Manuel Muro Tavara and Roger Cieza. Doctor of dentistry Francisco Canlla Ore, who teaches dentistry at a local university is also participating along with ten of his dental students. The doctors are donating their time and supplying their own examination equipment. We have applied to a nursing college for volunteers to join us and hope to have a response soon.

The list of medicines requested by the doctors was to me surprisingly extensive, until it was explained that to the degree possible they actually administer treatment on site to the patients. Needles and anesthetic were requested for use by the dentists. The complete list includes:

Paracetamol, Ibuprofen, Naproxen,
Amoxicillin, Clotrimazole, Ciprofloxacin,
Diclofenac, Albendazole, Mebendazole,
Captopril, Enalapril

We’ve been given an estimate of $300 - $400 to purchase enough units for a population of 200 families. We’re in contact with several pharmaceutical companies and are hopeful we’ll get some donations.

Transportation has proven to be more of a problem then we had anticipated. Several local universities and businesses have busses but provide them for community use only within or near Chiclayo. Recently a private citizen offered his bus for just the cost of the fuel, which we gladly accepted. Collique Alto officials have offered the school as an examination/treatment facility.

This will be our first experience with a medical campaign and we’re looking forward to it. If you’d like to help us with the costs please visit Promesa Peru at

Thank you

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