Monday, July 4, 2011

A Successful Medical Campaign

The three-vehicle convey arrived at the Collique Alto School at 9:30am Sunday, July 3rd. By 10:00am the team was set up and processing the first of what would be a steady flow of patients until the doors were closed at 1:30 pm – a full hour beyond the previously announced closing time. Set up involved designating separate classrooms for Triage/Pharmacy, General Medicine, Pediatrics, Gynecology and Dental and the placement of the appropriate equipment for each.

Triage was the first step in the process, where nurses took and recorded vitals including height, weight, blood pressure and temperature, and based on symptoms routed patients to the appropriate medical specialty.

Dr. Rogger Cieza Oblitas dealt with general medicine patients. Due to a missed communication we were without two other general practice doctors so Rogger had a heavy case load. Occasionally one of the other doctors would step in when patients were too backed up.

Pediatrician Dr. Jorge Wilmer Cacho Oliva was kept busy with the many youngsters and also made time to see general medicine patients.

Gynecologist Dr. Jorge Enrique Limo Peredo saw a constant stream of patients. A second gynecologist could easily have been kept busy.

Dr. Francisco Antonio Canlla Ore (second from left) was a huge help to the campaign. He brought with him a number of students from his university dental class, and offered to drive his own car when seating space in the bus was limited. On the right is Promesa Peru board member Attorney Salomon Morante Velasquez.

Dr. Ore’s dental students were a surprise. The professionalism they displayed was impressive. There was no hint that they were students as they handled a multitude of dental problems without any indication of awkwardness or uncertainty.

The final step in the process was the pharmacy, where nurses dispensed the prescribed medications including injections. We ran out of some medicines and had a surplus of others.

A general observation about the system is this – with due respect to the doctors and other team members, it is the nurses who are the backbone of a medical campaign. Much of the work falls on their shoulders, and given the demands for their time they also somehow manage to keep complete patient records and maintain a real time medicine inventory. Special thanks from Promesa Peru to Claudia Seclen Yaipen, Yosi Gil Mendoza, Cecilia Sosa Ramirez, Angie Katherine Cavero ChapoƱan, Ana Guerrero Valladolid, and the Nursing College of Peru IX Lambayeque. Our thanks also to Vilma Mendoza, Martin Angeles, Cesar Mestar, and the Regional Director of Health - MINSA for medicine donations, and to Jeff H., Joyce, Ray and others for financial contributions.

Many of the team assembled for a final photo upon our return to Chiclayo’s Las Muses Park – all of them expressing a willingness to “do this again.” And we will. Medical campaigns are a needed and rewarding activity.

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