Last week, medical students from Wayne State University visited Peru to partner with Sacred Valley Health on health campaigns. Twenty medical students, two physicians, and SVH staff and promotoras (community health workers) collaborated to promote health and well being among the people of Ollantaytambo.
On the first day of the campaign, groups of medical students teamed up with some of our promotoras to teach basic first aid skills to local restaurant and hotel workers. Participants rotated through a variety of stations where promotoras, assisted by med students, taught skills such as CPR, the Heimlich Maneuver, burn and wound care, and how to splint fractures and to treat dog bites. They also taught basics of reproductive health and STD prevention. Participants received a certificate of completion at the end of their rotation through all the stations.
The following days were dedicated to providing free clinical care to people with medical needs. Patients were treated for complaints that included acute and chronic pain, parasitic infections, urinary tract infections, and respiratory illness. Medical students gathered patient information, and assisted the physicians performing physical exams and prescribing courses of treatment. Patients with conditions too serious to treat in our mobile clinic were referred to the posta (government health clinic), with transportation provided when necessary.
The medical campaign with the Wayne State team was a great success. Most of SVH’s health campaigns take place in the rural communities in the mountains that surround Ollantaytambo. This week, we were glad to get to work with the town’s residents. Our patients and the first aid training participants were grateful for the health care and education provided, our promotoras shone, and Wayne State’s medical students gained invaluable experience in international health while helping many people in Ollantaytambo.
– Written by Jenny Jordan