Iquitos Morona Cocha Medical Mission: June 14 - 21, 2015

Morona Cocha Volunteers

In the middle of June, thirteen volunteers from the Freemont, Ohio area traveled to Iquitos, Perú to work with seven healthcare professionals in two river communities, some distance outside of the city.

In this area of extreme poverty, where the average daily income is a dollar a day, providing daily food takes precedence over even basic medical attention, to which there is little or no access. Snake bites and serious infections such as tuberculosis, typhoid fever, malaria, and dengue fever are quite common and go untreated, along with the more common dental and vision maladies. The children here suffer primarily from parasites and malnutrition.

During their week of service at the Centro de Salud Morona Cocha and the Centro de Salud Santa Rita de Nanay, the mission team saw 351 patients. The five physicians were supported by volunteer as runners, interpreters, transporters, and every other function necessary to provide medical attention. Funds raised for this medical mission covered all patients’ medications, lab studies, radiology services, and necessary hospitalization. In a remarkable spirit of cooperation, mission patients were signed out to local physicians for follow-up and continuity of care.

Medical supplies donated by Promedica Memorial Hospital, Home Health and Health department were given to the health care centers, the Regional Hospital, and Hospital Iquitos. Along with the medical supplies, clothes and shoes collected throughout the year were distributed to individuals in the different communities on the river.

Three generations of the
Arevalos caring for a newborn

Dr. Iracema Arevalo met with the Governor and Vice President of Iquitos to seek an agreement for the financial support of the Medical Pilot Center being built in Morona Cocha, and to commit technical and material support to the Center throughout the year. The mission identified basic improvements needed by the Center and three bathrooms are being remodeled and air conditioners are being installed in two exam rooms. Dr. Arevalo will return to Peru to sign the agreement with the representative from the Ministry of Health.

The picture to the right shows three generations of the Arevalos caring for a newborn in the Morona Cocha Neonatal and Delivery Room. More than ten years ago, the room was built and equipped with funds donated by PAMS member Dr. Alberto Otero and friends. The servo control incubator with radiant warmer, along with a fetal monitor, and pulse oximeter, were donated by PAMS Auxiliary in 2014.

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