Dr Sara Warzecka will lead the Palliative Care initiative on our April jungle trip. To begin the research, she will be surveying leaders and health workers to investigate current attitudes and practice about death and dying in jungle communities. She is joined by medical students from the University of Warwick in England and from Denver, Colorado. In addition, clinical exams and treatments will be offered in the villages visited.
Dr. Allie Kreiner will be following-up with women about their HPV and Pap smear results from previous visits, performing visual inspection and cryotherapy if needed. HPV vaccines will be available to young girls 9-13 years of age.
DB Peru Director Sharon Blackburn will be the leader for this 2 week trip.
A message to Dining for Women members
Diana Bowie, President and Geordan Shannon, Medical Director
We want to portray how powerful this project has become, both for the communities involved and for us as an organization. It has become even more powerful than we realized at the time. The grant from Dining for Women has served as a catalyst for change.
Because of our work, the women – and even the men – of our communities are becoming very involved in their own healthcare; for some of them, this is the first time they have engaged with formal healthcare and taken charge of their own health. They are really excited about this project and it is gaining momentum. Women are engaged in our program and asking good questions. From appearing shy and marginalized, they are now proactive and more empowered.
The project has allowed community members to talk about what is important for them. For the first time, we have opened discussions around sexuality, relationships, and even domestic violence. From our discussions, we have community leaders wanting to form more locally led projects addressing violence against women, women’s health and chronic disease.
We have always spoken about sustainability of our work, through listening to the community’s needs. Now we are able to realize this fully: the community is now interested in taking the lead on their own healthcare and they are asking about doing this for themselves. Beyond this, we have the valuable opportunity to work with the government to incorporate this program into the public system to provide care for all women in Loreto. Our program, serving as a blueprint for action, may extend over the entire district.
By investing in us, you have shown the communities that they have a voice. You have allowed them to dream of a better future and start realizing the change they have wanted to see in their world.
The World Bank Group and Sexual Research Violence Initiative have announced that DB Peru and the University College London will receive $150,000 grant for Gender-Based Violence Prevention in the Amazon of Peru (GAP).
Author of the grant Dr. Geordan Shannon has done extensive research on gender-based violence in the area of Iquitos and the lower Napo River villages, and will be the lead researcher for this project. Dr. Shannon, from Australia, is currently in London completing her PhD and serves as the Medical Director for DB Peru.
Renzo Pena, Vice President of DB Peru, and Jenevieve Mannell of UCL will accept the award in Washington DC in April 2017. The project will formally begin in November.
28 volunteers from around the world participated in our September jungle trip dedicated to cervical cancer and HPV. Women came from 8 villages to learn more about the disease. 73 women had pelvic examinations with collection of specimens for pap smear and HPV, including some who needed treatment with cryotherapy.
In addition a medical clinic was conducted for all adults and children. Games kept the children occupied while formal education was given.
People living along the rivers are at especially high risk for tetanus, working with machetes and rusty and dirty equipment, etc. Thanks to our sponsor Eske Corporation of Lima, Peru, and a donation of tetanus vaccine, we were able to vaccinate 300 people during our March trip, young and old alike, everyone cheering each other on to grin and bear it.
Records were kept for the Peruvian Minister of Health statistics.
DIGNITY: We found this young man crawling on the ground to get around. By his demeanor and actions, he appeared to be retarded. When dentist Jeff lifted him into a wheelchair, he was transformed into a dignified person, holding himself erect and smiling radiantly. We had transported the wheelchair for a young boy in another village, but before we could deliver it, we found this young man. After a brief discussion, we decided to give it to him and buy another chair later for the young boy. It was a very powerful moment for us all.
The wheelchair was a private donation from Donna DeAngelis, with Sara Warzecka buying the second chair.
Thanks to our returning partner, dental NGO Kindness in Action from Canada, more than 1,000 patients were treated in February and March. They performed extractions, fillings, and cleanings in 6 Napo River villages, all completed with high skill, professionalism, and kindness.
Monies from grants can have have multiple impact on our programs. Due to grant monies, we have acquired a generator has made it possible for us to power the dental machines to clean and restore teeth; to power the projector to use in all of our educational classes; and to power our cryotherapy unit to treat cervical cancer.
We wish to thank the recent organizations who have chosen DB Peru to receive their grants:
- Dining for Women
- the United States Embassy Association of Lima, Peru
- St. Isidore’s Catholic Church of MI
In March the Denver School of Nursing senior nursing students participated in the midwife class, training them on essential skills for caring for healthy babies and assisting babies who do not breathe on their own. Each midwife practiced the techniques on a doll mannequin donated by nursing facilitator Sue Hammerton. This class was developed by Dr. Jessica Landry.
In addition they taught a class for midwives to teach first-time mothers about the labor, delivery and birth experience. This class was developed by medical student Lauren Oberle.
These 2 topics had previously been identified by the midwives as the most important learning needs they had.