The types of medical missions we perform include:
MEDICAL / DENTAL:
During these missions our Medical/Dental teams go out to rural communities or areas with limited resources in our large cities. While our volunteers serve the health needs of our patients, our integrated health department staff teach about prevention and holistic health care as well as transmit the message of love and hope that we have in Jesus Christ. The services given during medical campaigns depend on the volunteer specialists available. However, we supplement our care with additional services provided by local professionals in the area of odontology, optometry as well as physiotherapy when available. The dental program has portable equipment, allowing us to provide the best attention to the neediest. Services include fluoride treatments, fillings and resin restorations, extractions, sealants and cleanings. In order to build these campaigns we need a strong corps of medical volunteers including physicians of different specialties, physician assistants, dentists, dental hygienists, dental assistants, optometrists, nurses, nursing technicians, pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, and students from different health care areas. We also need priests or pastors, translators, and general assistants.
Ophthalmology / Optometry:
Our ophthalmology campaign offers all of the exams and many of the surgeries required for eye health care including evaluation, diagnosis and treatment of cataracts, strabismus, oculoplastics and laser procedures for retina and glaucoma. We also provide a range of eye glasses from simple readers and sunglasses to glasses with custom made lenses. This is one of the most important missions we do and it has been regularly requested by the patients we serve. For this type of campaign the volunteers that are needed include: ophthalmologists, optometrists, optical technicians, nurses, translators and general assistants. As these campaigns are carried out in coordination with local partners, the ambulatory attention is generally located in large schools or community centers. The surgical services take place in clinics or hospitals in the areas we serve. The daily flow of patients in this campaign is between 300-400 patients per day.
Physiotherapy and Rehabilitation:
Projects are held two times a year in the cities of Lima and Arequipa. During these campaigns, children and adults with disabilities are evaluated and treated. Common diagnoses include hemiplegia and paraplegia, cerebral palsy, hip dysplasia, Down Syndrome, clubbed foot, musculoskeletal pain, and post-operative treatment of joints. Special equipment is distributed such as: wheelchairs, walkers, crutches, splints, etc. according to the specific needs of each patient. Volunteers that are welcome to participate in these campaigns include: physiotherapists, occupational therapists, physical therapy students, translators, general helpers and those who have a love and passion for people with disabilities.
The surgical mission lasts two weeks. Teams consist of 20-30 professionals, including surgeons, anesthesiologists, nurses, surgery technicians, and translators. Many patients would not have access to an operation if it wasn’t for our team and greatly value this opportunity. The surgeries performed include general surgeries, Ob/Gyn surgery, ENT surgery and sometimes urological and reconstructive plastics surgery. In addition, local surgeons have the opportunity to be trained during this time, allowing them to continue to provide attention and care in their hospitals and offices. On average, teams perform between 50-70 surgeries during the two weeks of activity. Currently we only perform surgeries in the city of Arequipa once a year, between the months of June and July.
Where we work?
The city of Ica is the capital of the Ica department in southern Peru. The area has been long inhabited by varying cultures of indigenous peoples. As of 2005, it had an estimated population of over 219,856. The city suffered extensive damage and loss of life during the 2007 Peru earthquake. The city is located on the Ica River about 300 km to the south of Lima, along the desert coast of southern Peru. Further south along the Pan-American Highway lies the city of Nazca. Ica can be reached from Lima by the Pan-American Highway. The distance is almost exactly 200 miles or 300km. The trip takes about 4.5 hours by bus and 4 hours on motorcycle. Ica’s location in the desert provides unique opportunities for tourism, such as the nearby Huacachina oasis, located in the midst of sand dunes. Some adventurous visitors try sandboarding; others travel the dunes in sand buggies. Climate: Ica lies on the border of the Atacama desert and has one of the driest climates in the world with only around 1 inch of rainfall per year. Temperatures are hot during the summer months (December – March) and warm through the winter months (June – September). Average annual temperature: 20°, (Maximum 30° and minimum 8° C).
Lima is the capital and the largest city of Peru. It is located in the central coastal part of the country, overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Together with the seaport of Callao, it forms a contiguous urban area known as the Lima Metropolitan Area. With a population of almost 10 million, Lima is the most populous metropolitan area of Peru, and the third largest city in the Americas (as defined by “city proper”). Lima was founded by Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro on January 18, 1535, as Ciudad de los Reyes. It became the capital and most important city in the Spanish Viceroyalty of Peru. Following the Peruvian War of Independence, it became the capital of the Republic of Peru. Today, around one-third of the Peruvian population lives in the metropolitan area. Lima is also home to extreme poverty, especially in the densely populated settlements on its outskirts. These areas, known as “pueblos jovenes,” have grown rapidly in recent years, as people migrated from the rural high Andes of Peru to Lima in search of economic opportunity and an escape from the instability and violence of the 1980s. People also continue to migrate to Lima from rural areas of Peru in search of better access to basic services — such as health care, education, and work opportunities — that are often limited or completely absent in their home communities. While some of the older settlements have in time become incorporated into the rest of Lima, the rapid and continued population growth in these areas has left many communities plagued by low wages, high unemployment, and a lack of attention from the state. Climate: Lima’s climate is in transition between mild and warm, despite being located in the tropics and in a desert, Lima’s proximity to the cool waters of the Pacific Ocean leads to temperatures much cooler than those expected for a tropical desert. It is neither cold nor very hot. Temperatures rarely fall below 14 °C (57 °F) or rise above 29 °C (84 °F) throughout the entire year. Relative humidity is always very high, particularly in the mornings.While relative humidity is high, rainfall is very low due to strong atmospheric stability. The severely low rainfall impacts on the water supply in the city, which originates from wells and rivers that flow from the Andes.
MOUNTAINS AND HIGHLANDS
Arequipa is Peru’s second largest city with a population close to one million people. Although sitting in a valley, the elevation is quite high. Three snow-capped volcanoes, Misti, Chanchani and Pichu Pichu, dominate the city’s panorama. Of the three, only Misti remains active. Inhabitants of this city are involved in industrial and commercial production, including camelid wool products.The historic center of Arequipa spans an area of 332 hectares and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The city has a large number of public and private health centers, however urban slum conditions mean that many still suffer from lack of access to basic services. Pueblos Jovenes (permanent squatter communities) completely ring the city. In these communities health care is not universally available and is often substandard. Many Peruvians living in “pueblos jovenes” are forced to resort to traditional remedies rather than seeking medical treatment. Elevation: 8,200 feet (2,499 meters) Population: 836,859 Time Zone: PET (UTC -5) – same as CST in US & Canada Fun Fact: 8,200 feet (2,499 meters) Elevation: Arequipa is called the “White City” because many of its buildings are made of a white volcanic rock called sillar. Climate: Arequipa’s climate is warm and generally dry. The month of June starts the winter months. Days will be warm and nights and early mornings will be cold, so be sure to bring some warm clothing for nighttime. Dressing in layers is recommended for this type of climate. June Average High: 67 F (19.4° C) June Average Low: 46° F (7.7° C)
Ayacucho is the capital city of Huamanga Province, Ayacucho Region. It is a small town of colonial style with approximately 32,000 citizens, calm and quiet, with old streets full of charm. Ayacucho is 558 km from Lima (the capital city of Peru). Ayacucho was the capital of the last pre-Inca Empire and is located in the middle of the driest area of Peru. It was founded in 1539 by Francisco Pizarro. Now it is famous because of her religious celebrations. The inhabitants of Ayacucho are involved in agriculture and light manufacturing: textiles, pottery, leather goods, and filigree wear. Ayacucho is famous for its 33 churches, which represent one for each year of Jesus’ life, and was a key site for a major battle for Peruvian independence from the Spanish. Altitude: 9,055 feet (2,760 meters) Population: 221,000 Time Zone: PET (UTC-5) Fun Fact: There is a tradition in the city that all houses must have a little church on the roof of the house. Climate: he end of March is the beginning of fall in the southern hemisphere. The days are warm and sunny but it gets cool at night and in the mornings. Average High: 75º F (24º C) Average Low: 51° F (11º C)
Cusco is a city in southeastern Peru and is the capital city of the Cusco Province and has a population of 435,114 persons. A large proportion of the population is indigenous. Cusco is known as the heart of the Inca Empire and is the archaeological capital of the Americas. The famous Inca Citadel Machu Picchu and the Sacred Valley of the Incas are located nearby and was declared a World Heritage Site in 1983 by UNESCO. Tourism represents a very important source of revenue to the area. But most inhabitants of this area are involved in agriculture and brewery. The economic benefits from tourism have failed to reach the majority of the population and so many of Cusco’s residents live in poverty. Elevation: 3400 m (11,200 ft.) Climate: Its climate is generally dry and temperate, with two defined seasons. The dry season lasts from April to October, with abundant sunshine, and occasional nighttime freezes: July is the coolest month with an average of 9.6°C (49.3 °F). The wet season lasts from November to March, with night frost less common: November averages 13.4 °C (56.1 °F). Although frost and hail are common, snow is virtually unheard of.
Puno is a city in southeastern Peru and is the capital city of the Puno Province, Puno Region, and has a population of 149,064 persons. A large proportion of the population is Indigenous, and the city is a hub for their migration through the Andes. The inhabitants of the region are involved in agriculture, specifically livestock such as: llamas and alpacas. Musical instruments such as the siku and charango are also made, as well as textiles and ceramics. Puno is located on the shore of Lake Titicaca, which is the highest navigable lake in the world. Puno has been named the “Capital folklorica del Peru (folklore capital of Peru) from its wealth of artistic and cultural expressions, particulary dance. Textiles and other products created from alpaca, llama, or sheep wool are characteristic of the area. They also make musical instruments like the siku (wind instrument) and the charango. Elevation: 3830 m (12,556 ft.) Weather and Climate: As Puno is located at a high elevation, it experiences more extreme weather conditions than would be expected for its tropical latitude. The average annual temperature is about 15 °C, and the weather never gets overly warm. At this high altitude, the rays of the sun are very strong. Most of the annual precipitation occurs during the southern hemisphere summer, with the winter months being very dry.
MADRE DE DIOS
Madre de Dios is located in southeastern Peru, bordering Brazil, Bolivia and the Peruvian regions of Puno, Cusco and Ucayali in the Amazon Basin. Its capital is the city of Puerto Maldonado. It has a very small population with an extremely low density. A large proportion of the population is Indigenous, and human activity is confined to river banks. The inhabitants of this area rely on natural products, and are involved in agriculture, specifically: cotton, coffee, sugarcane, cacao beans, Brazil nuts, palm oil, and gold mining. Due to the vast size of the area and its low population density, rivers provide the best way of getting from one town to another. A new road that opened in early 2011 through the area will connect Brazil and Peru for trade. It is part of the newly built Interoceanic Road between the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans. Flights between Cusco and Puerto Maldonado remain the most common and quicker method of transport between the two cities. Deforestation is a significant problem in this area. Gold mining is the only other large industry of the region, confined mainly to alluvium adjacent to the Inambari and Madre de Dios rivers. In addition, techniques for gold mining have been described as resulting in both a major environmental and public health problem. Ecotourism is a major emerging industry in Madre de Dios. A number of lodges in Manu and Tambopata are becoming part of what is described as the Vilcabamba-Amboró Corridor. New legislation encourages private investors to create concessions for conservation or ecotourism. This is to extend the reaches of the public protected areas. This integration includes native communities, which are increasingly involved in ecotourism. Elevation: 183 m (600 ft.) Climate: The region is almost entirely low-lying Amazon rainforest. The climate is warm and damp, with average temperatures around 26 °C (79 °F)