Last week, MEDLIFE completed its fourth Mobile Clinic visit to the region of Cuzco. Split into two groups, MEDLIFE staff members and student volunteers from University of California San Diego, University of Denver, University of Delaware, University of California Riverside, and Union College, were able to see a total of 751 patients.
In addition to bringing primary doctors, dentists, and obstetricians to rural communities surrounding Cuzco, MEDLIFE has also bolstered the educational component of our clinics by adding six new videos and accompanying brochures to our education station. While patients wait to see our medical professionals, they watch short videos about common health problems such as malnutrition, cervical cancer, diabetes, and high blood pressure, among others.
Late in the afternoon of our first day in Colquepata, as we were about to shut down the clinic, a woman arrived from the community of Tocra. She told us that she had heard about the Mobile Clinic through a doctor at the nearest health center (rural communities in the Sierra are served by health centers with varying levels of medical services). The health center near her community is staffed part-time with one nurse, one technician, and one administrative assistant, and offers only a basic level of care with no emergency, diagnostic, or lab services. Although it’s difficult for her to leave her nine children and the various animals she raises to make a living, this patient decided to walk three hours in the rain to be seen for various ailments — pain in her waist, pelvic pain and inflammation, and headache. Although the doctors were packing up, we were able to fit in one last patient. She was also able to meet with an obstetrician and receive a free Pap smear in order to screen for cervical cancer. MEDLIFE will return the results of her test through a local doctor in Cuzco within fifteen days.
Thanks to the community members, student volunteers, and MEDLIFE staff members for bringing medical services to families and individuals in need in Cuzco province!