Health and Safety
Medical Placement in Peru-Lima
Submitted by Guilherme Wertheimer - Campinas, São Paulo. Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP) | July 27, 2014
Lima is a big city and has a lot large community that lacks proper healthcare and resources. Working in the medical placement was getting in closer touch with the patients, their stories and struggles.
The volunteer experience was basically two sides, one in a health post in a district called Callao- Carmen de la Lengua in with many habitants live in poverty. The work there was basically assist the doctor with physical exams and participate in health campaigns like Diabetes prevention, the most impact I felt was meeting patients with uncontrolled blood glucose and initial signs of vision and sensory lost that had no money to buy insulin or others depressed due the lack of money and problems at home like home violence and drug abuse. To break the language and culture barrier was difficult, but I felt that some could translate and help even for a little bit.
The second part was working in a orphanage for children with special needs. That part was the most sensible and difficult personally, knowing that most of then were abandoned in hospital or in the street for their disabilities made me feel very impotent. The medical part of the service helped then for some moments of the day, but the attention given was also an important factor that made the experience so unique. Part of the medical profession is to give your best for the patients and try to improve their lives and , but unfortunately is also accepting that are limits to how much you can do or change. In this case is leaving back to medical school in Brasil knowing that those children probably will stay parentless and eventually succumb to their very serious condition, I hope that the many volunteers working can attenuate these horrible circumstances and maybe give then some happy moments.
The organisation from IVHQ in Lima was very good, airport pick up, delicious food, warm shower and clean house. The local responsible is very kind and concern about the volunteers.
Besides the lack of sunshine that was Lima in July, I could still travel to MachuPicchu and get to know the city. Social live was very good living in the volunteer house, where I met many truly good people.
The experience is a must do for any medical student that wishes to know more about heath care, the human resilience and more importantly about himself and what means to care for another person.