Medical Expeditions Update from Peru Published: 03 Jun 2021

Although the Amazon Hope Medical Programme cannot receive any volunteer support at this time due to COVID-19 restrictions, the ship is still travelling to the communities on a regular basis to provide vital healthcare. 

Dr Ronald Ramirez, Head of Medical Services, writes to share an update:

“The most recent trip in April was successful and we were able to visit communities on the Ucayali River that we have not visited for a year.

We are pleased to report that these communities were apparently only mildly affected by the second wave of COVID-19, according to testimonies from the residents.

Prior to the trip commencing, we were able to coordinate the participation of a Dentist from the Jenaro Herrera Health Centre, who boarded the ship on April 15 and worked alongside the Amazon Hope team until the end of the expedition, providing excellent treatment to all the patients. 

On this expedition we were also joined by a team of Peruvian psychologists from the new mental health project, who were able to hold 78 interviews and 13 meetings with community authorities to gather more information about the needs that exist in the communities, mental health workshops with children as well as provide 97 psychological consultations.

The villagers showed their joy at receiving the visit of the ship after such a long time. Patients with chronic diseases were found who had not been taking their medicines, either because of problems of access to existing services or because of the shortage of medicines in health posts, a situation which has worsened due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Most notable amongst the patients were those with diabetes who were found with very worrying glucose levels and pregnant women without adequate prenatal control. 

We were also very pleased to provide care to a 20-year-old woman who had been suffering for a long time with severe swelling and pain in her leg, accompanied by a fever.  We were able to diagnose Tropical Pyomiositis which required minor surgery and antibiotic treatment.  Over the last few days, we have been receiving updates from the local doctor at the nearest health post who has confirmed that she is doing well and very happy to have been given relief from the pain.”