Greater Niagara General ER doctors, nurses prepare for medical mission to Peru

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Posted Nov 15th, 2011

A team of nurses and physicians from the Emergency Department at theGreater Niagara General Site are preparing for a medical mission in January 2012 to one of the most economically disadvantaged parts of Peru.

The seven nurses and two physicians will be joined by a local optometrist and interpreter, travelling to Yurimaguas in the Amazon basin in the northern part of the country.

“Healthcare needs in this area of the country are immense,” says organizer Charity Gilmore. “People here lack access to medication, basic nutritional and hygiene information, and must travel long distances to medical care, most of which they cannot afford.”

The ER team will be working in clinics and health posts in nearby towns and squatters areas, some of which are only accessible by river. Yurimaguas is the last urban centre in the north connected by highway with the rest of Peru.

Members of Team Peru 2012 are holding fundraisers this month and in December to help cover costs of medicines and supplies for the mission. Each member of the team must pay their own airfare and expenses.

“Typically each member of the team carries two hockey bags filled with supplies and just a few personal items,” says Charity. “Some of these supplies are donated, but much we pay for ourselves. We are planning to bring with us a full pharmacy of antibiotics, anti-parasitics, vitamins, eye glasses, dressings and a wide range of supplies.”

Many members of the group went on similar trips to Nicaragua in November 2008 and Thailand this past January.

How the public can help:
Financial donations are tax deductible: Please make cheques payable to Missionary Ventures Canada and send them to Martha Hicks, 22 LaSalle Drive, St. Catharines, Ontario, L2M 2E4. Financial donations will be forwarded to Missionary Ventures Canada.

Niagara Health System