The Needs of the Community
A coastal city of 600,000 and the capital of the Peruvian north, Trujillo is steeped in Latin culture and archaeological history. Spanish colonial mansions still stand in the central district of Trujillo. Volunteers are a 30 minute bus ride away from some of Peru’s most important historical sites, including the ancient Moche administrative centers and temples that predate the Inca by 1,500 years. Trujillo receives thousands of tourists a year, but the local living conditions, especially in the outlying communities, tend to be extremely rustic and contribute to the health problems most commonly seen in medical institutions.
Although Trujillo appears to be a well developed city, the health issues are abundant in the local hospitals and Ministry of Health clinics. Patients often come from outlying communities that are impacted by high rates of poverty and a lack of resources. The medical facilities are critically understaffed and underfunded, and many medical establishments struggle to provide even basic medical care to the people they serve. It is not uncommon for a patient to wait an entire day to be seen by a doctor, an appointment that may only last five minutes. Doctors are unable to spend enough time with patients to be able to provide the necessary education in order to prevent many of the common health issues seen in the establishments.
The goal of FIMRC in Peru is to provide a unique perspective into the medical system, as well as provide unique education opportunities to different populations and institutions. As a result, Trujillo is unique in that volunteers will gain exposure to public hospitals and clinics rather than a FIMRC clinic, offering a unique glimpse into systems of medicine vastly different from those in the US. Volunteers will also have the opportunity to support orphanages and smaller government clinics on health education initiatives and addressing issues that are otherwise ignored, such as dental health.