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|Peruvian Quick Facts|
|Ethnic groups:||45% Amerindian, 37% Mestizo, 15% White, 3% Black, Asian|
|Population:||29,132,013 (30 June 2009 estimate)|
|Currency:||Nuevo Sol (PEN)|
|Time zone||PET (UTC-5)|
View the image gallery from the 2009 mission
Twenty-three members of Team STIMMA from all over Canada traveled to the Amazonia jungles of Peru to provide support and guidance to various communities. The clinic ran for 8 days, and in that span we saw nearly 1500 patients. Patients travelled by boat and by foot from various areas to attend clinics held in Francisco de Orellana, Santa Isabella, Santa Rosa and Yanamano.
The journey started months before with planning and organizing of the trip by our tenured team members Mary Gatschene (Clinic Manager) and Maxine Schaefer (Nurse). STIMMA was faced with a unique challenge this trip as we were hoping to visit four communities on the Napo River. Due to limitations with domestic flights and boats (our main source of transportation) we had to pack wisely and only carry minimal supplies. The girls drew from their past experiences and were able to get the team organized and ready for the adventures that lay ahead.
This year the team was a healthy balance of experienced members and first timers. We were very fortunate to have 3 Canadian Doctors travel with us. Dr O’Connor was joined this year by Dr Allison MacQueen from Calgary and Dr Julia Chronopoulos from Edmonton. The addition of these two female physicians allowed STIMMA to expand the scope of services offered. For the first time we were able to conduct cervical screening. Of the almost 100 procedures performed, the number of irregular results approached 75%!! Clearly, this was a service that was essential.
Each patient that came to the clinic was registered by first timers Janine Koivisto-Wilson and David O’Connor. The patients were then provided small group educational sessions by Linsay Buss and Lise Ellacott. Lise is from the Kitchener/waterloo community who came on board as a team translator. The patient’s basic medical information was gathered by Debra Ann Connell from BC and Christie Birch from Woodstock. The patients were then sent to triage to be further assessed by the triage staff consisting of Rebecca Pagett, Maxine Schaefer and Sherrie Lee Bester. Sherrie wore two hats in this clinic as she was also the Diabetic Educator and provided one on one care to people living with diabetes.
Christie also served two roles in the clinic. When she was not doing assessments she was involved in eye care. About 500 pairs of reading glasses, provided by 2020 Marketing in Pitt Meadows, B.C. and Shoppers Drug Mart Bridgeport/Weber in Waterloo, ON, were distributed. In addition, proper eye washing technique and the importance of wearing protective eyewear while working outdoors was emphasized. Eye kits were donated by The Laser Eyecare Centre (TLC). These kits contained protective eyewear, eyedrops and eye shields. Wendy O’Connor once again ran the lab and provided the doctors and nurses with key results required for definitive diagnosis and assisted with eye care.
Finally the patients received medication from the pharmacy team of Robert Wagner and Veneta Anand. Medications were donated by various drug companies in Canada and vitamins were donated by communities across Canada.
We were very fortunate to once again be supported by 91.5 the Beat in Kitchener/Waterloo. The Beat provided listeners in the Southwestern Ontario with daily call ins and blogs from Peru to update communities and family members on the success of the trip. Adele, once again traveled with us and participated in various aspects of the clinic.
This year we were honoured to partner with Blessed to Bless – a group of 6 young Peruvian men who helped STIMMA overcome language barriers with the Peruvians. The role of the translator is one of the key roles of the clinic. The team consisted of Roger Davila , Vladimir Malfaldo Grandez, Frank Galdos, Ronald Peso, Jose Alvis and Freddy Curinuqui Gomez. The boys worked closely with the medical staff to help with assessments.
During Amazonia 2009 the clinic staff saw a wide array of chronic diseases and acute illnesses. 15 new hypertensive cases were diagnosed and 8 new diabetics. Many children presented to the clinic suffering from amoebic dysentery and upper respiratory tract infections. STDs were also prevalent in the communities. We also saw a woman who had a snake bite and was fighting a massive infection. Many broken bones were presented to the clinic as well.
STIMMA would like to thank all their supporters who have made this trip so successful. A special thanks to Pam Bicur and the staff at Explorama Lodge for helping with trip preparation and transportation. STIMMA is a team that networks with organizations around the world to help facilitate relief.