Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Day 587: The Big Health Campaign

During Mom and Pop's first week in Musho we helped the local health post staff and World Vision International in an integral health campaign. Each day we were up early, ate breakfast at Dona Albina's and then headed off to one of the 5 sectors of Musho.

Here is Dr. Mark Bixby, my dad, examining an elderly man. Dr. Bixby essentially performed a physical on each patient and then made a diagnosis based on his findings, followed by a suggestion for what meds might help calm the symptoms. I, Libby, served as the translator, and Dora, an intern at the Health Post, helped to make my dad's suggestions compatible with what was actually feasible in our setting, either at the Musho health post or at a bigger hospital. Many of the patients were elderly folks complaining of all-over body pain, a complaint that soon was referred to generally as "Peru Pain."

Meanwhile, Benjamin and Mom helped to administer a deparisitation campaign with each of the families participating in the health campaign. Each family member was required to participate, taking one pill, once a week, for four weeks... all with the goal of eliminating worms and other parasites from their intestinal systems.

And... to beat the issue into the ground, Mom and Benj also helped the kids to make recycled bottle handwashing stations and soap dishes for their homes - A Hygiene Corner, if you will. It was dirty work... and required a lot of patience. Mom was glad she had practiced her Spanish before coming down!