Our goal is to provide improved access to healthcare during time of illness.
One of DB Peru’s core missions is to provide medical treatment and care to the people in the villages along the lower Napo River. This international volunteer effort includes doctors, nurses, nurse midwives and technicians working along side local healthcare professionals in the jungle. Temporary clinics are most often set up in the village schoolhouses. Medicines and supplies are either donated by private persons or businesses, or purchased from the Minister of Health in Peru.
All patients are registered and most of the healthcare needs are addressed in the villages. Those with chronic conditions, more serious illnesses or injuries receive follow up visits. However, when patients are in urgent need of more advanced care and treatment, they are transported to local clinics and/or hospitals.
Our goal is to provide access to dental hygiene and treatment to improve the overall health of each individual.
Working with the Canadian NGO Kindness in Action, DB Peru offers bi-annual dental clinics held in the villages. Both adults and children are now able to receive more advanced dental care including cleanings, fillings and extractions.
Dental hygiene classes are offered as a regular part of our education in the villages. The classes are very popular with the children who line up for new toothbrushes during the visits. In addition, we provide fluoride treatments for pre-school and school age children.
Our goal is to reduce the morbidity and mortality of women due to cervical cancer, and to educate all women about their bodies and conditions specific to women’s health.
In response to the concerns about cervical cancer, we began our Women’s Project in 2011 providing education about women’s health, and screening for cervical and breast cancer to any woman who wished the exam. Included was sex education for teens, seminars on aging and family planning. Educational sessions were open to men and women alike. Pap smears were collected and processed by the government laboratory in Iquitos.
The project evolved into a formal program called The Amazon Community Based Participation Cervical Cancer Screen-and-Treat (ABCS) Program which provides resources to deliver an innovative cervical cancer screen-and-treat program. The project involves education and investment in the training of local service providers as well as collaboration with local health services.
The project itself has 3 major elements:
DB Peru was awarded a grant of $42,000 from the NGO Dining for Women (DFW) to help fund the ABCS program 2015-2017.
President Diana Bowie was guest speaker at the National Conference of Dining for Women, Knowledge is Power, in Washington DC. The topic was The Delivery of Services at the Last Mile; Challenges and Opportunities.
The YouTube videos shared for the Dining for Women grant are the following:
Our goal is to improve access to healthcare.
By bringing services and resources closer to the people, many of the healthcare needs are met nearer to home, reducing the need for people to travel in already compromised medical conditions.
Technological advances have slowly made their way to the jungle communities with more telephone and solar panels sprouting up along the river communities.
DB Peru’s past efforts have included the installation of radios in the jungle communities. Those efforts are now being redirected to electronically connect doctors and healthcare workers from nearby clinics and hospitals directly to the villages. Telemedicine is coming to the jungle!
Paperwork is being expedited by use of electronic records for medical exams and attendance at educational sessions.
DB Peru works diligently to assure the clinics and hospitals along the lower Napo River are stocked with the basic equipment and supplies necessary to provide ongoing patient care. Instruments and equipment rust quickly in the heat and humidity of the jungle necessitating their continual restoration and replacement. We rely heavily on donations to ensure all equipment is clean and in working order.
DB Peru has recently transitioned from the delivery of free medicines to a program of sustainable medication acquisition using resources within the lower Napo communities. Each village has a lay healthcare worker called a health promotor. The people in the villages pool their monies to be given to the promotores who, in turn, purchase medicines from the government clinics and pharmacies for resale back in the villages. This allows for people to access over-the-counter medicines more easily within their own community.
Due to absence of pharmacies in the jungle, we are working to establish centers for storage of simple and common medicines to be accessed by the promotores to better serve their communities.
Past donations of medical equipment, supplies and medicines have been made to the jungle clinics in Mazán, Orellana, Santa Clotilde, Tamanco, Yanashi, Mangua, Puinahua as well as the three hospitals in Iquitos.