Paz Holandesa expands emergency aid in Peru
Paz Holandesa wants to improve living standards for Peruvian children by offering free health care.
In Peru, structural government investments into public healthcare have been lacking. In Latin America, the average investments is around 3.5% of the GDP. In Peru, this is around 1.6%. What is positive, is that direct healthcare is offered to the poorest groups of the population. However, some surgeries are not included in this. Paz Holandesa takes on part of the direct healthcare. One example is surgeries for children with birth defects.
In May 2020, two months after a lockdown was imposed, a wave of corona patients emerged. The capacity of the existing hospitals immediately proved insufficient. Although state hospitals were completely taken over by the local government for the intake of Covid patients, lines were quickly forming in front of hospitals, and there was a shortage of IC beds, oxygen, protective clothing and medicine.
In the spring of 2020, the children’s ward of the ‘Hospital General’ was removed. Paz Holandesa offered shelter in its own ‘Tony Molleapaza Rojas’ children’s hospital in Arequipa. In a three month- period, 27 surgeries were carried out and 75 children were given shelter.
Paz Holandesa executes cleft surgeries (cleft lip corrections/closing open palates), burn corrections and urological surgeries. This includes aftercare, such as speech lessons, psychological support and medical rehabilitation. Due to the lockdown, it was impossible to invite foreign teams to carry out complex surgeries. In the fall, however, two local surgeons were able to carry out cleft surgeries for 30 children.
Our partner provided acute medical care. Speech lessons, psychological therapy and physical therapy were offered online as much as possible. Important activities: donation of face masks, gloves and aprons to the ‘Hospital General’. Aid to Covid patients:
- Weekly food donations to patients and their families, particular children’s homes and community-run soup kitchens.
- Shelter and accommodation for child cancer patients, who have had to stay in Arequipa for treatment but who do not have housing.
- Providing medicine to covid patients
At this point, the waitlist for surgeries has risen to include 150 children. Paz Holandesa hopes that in the second half of this year, extra teams can come to the hospital to help execute all surgeries.