Responding to an emergency in the jungle city of Iquitos, Peru
UPDATE March 2021:
Needs continue for oxygen and oxygen tanks as hospital beds are full, and many COVID patients must be treated at home. Please indicate “oxygen” if you wish to donate to this effort on PayPal.
UPDATE July 2020:
Deliveries of medical supplies and PPE have now been made to 6 large Clinics and their 25 health posts in the outlying jungle areas from Iquitos. These clinics cover approx. 60,000 people and had almost no supplies.
The clinics are in Mazán, Indiana, Orellana, Yanamono, Yanashi and Pevas, which is the furthest from Iquitos about 100 miles. Deliveries were made by friend and jungle guide Raul Petit. For the delivery to Pevas, he took a river boat launcha 24 hours down the Amazon River to reach the town, then spent several days waiting for a return boat, which took 36 hours to return against the strong current of the river.
The contents of the deliveries were specific to the requests of the clinic administrators:
PPE included pantsuits with hoods (made in Lima), N95 masks, face shields, gloves and simple masks for patients and families. Each health worker personally received 3 pantsuits, one face shield, and enough N95 masks for a month.
Medical supplies included intravenous solutions and tubing, intravenous catheters, tape, nasal oxygen cannulas, as well as gun thermometers and pulse oximeters for the clinic.
Cleaning supplies included alcohol, bleach, soap, detergent, and garbage bags (some clinics had no supplies to clean the clinics)
UPDATE June 8:
We have delivered a large amount of PPE personal protective equipment to both Hospital Regional and Hospital Apoyo. Our personal medication inventory has been taken to 2 small health posts that serve approx 5000 people. We have purchased medicines (at low government prices) in Iquitos and delivered them to the clinic in Mazan, which serves approx 15,000 people. We are continuing to ready supplies for delivery to both hospitals and clinics.
Iquitos is a land-locked city of half a million people, only accessible by air or boat. The coronavirus has spread rapidly due to over-crowded living conditions and poverty, and has overwhelmed the health care system.
The hospitals are at 3 times their capacity with patients in the open corridors, and supplies are gone. Due to no medicines, oxygen and protective equipment, nurses and doctors have been dying along with the patients.
Peru is currently on a strict quarantine which has prevented normal travel between cities.
Many people have asked us how they can help. Filmmaker Anne Fentress made this video for us to depict the plight of the city:
Aware of concerns about corruption and to ensure that all donations are in the hands of those who truly need them, we are partnering with a group of dedicated scientists and researchers, spearheaded by Dr. Valerie Paz Soldán (Tulane University and Peruvian University Cayetano Heredia) and Dr. Graciela Meza (Universidad Nacional de Amazonía Peruana), in coordination with Dr. Martin Casapia (Hospital Regional de Loreto in Iquitos) who are gathering supplies in Lima to be sent by humanitarian cargo planes.
If anyone would like to donate to this effort, the money will be used for:
- Medicines and medical supplies
- Oxygen tanks, manometers and connectors, and
- Personal protective equipment
- Cleaning and disinfecting supplies.
You can donate on our website www.dbperu.org and indicate this is for hospitals in Iquitos.
If anyone in Lima has supplies to donate, please contact us as well – cellular 999 123 845.
For businesses, Asociación DB Peru can issue certificates of donation.
In USA, checks can be sent to 1918 Hillcrest St, Orlando, FL 32803
In Peru, deposits can be made to Banco de Credito:
Account of Darleen Diane Bowie CE 000755918
The needs worldwide are great, but the isolation of this large city has made it particularly vulnerable. Our wonderful boat driver, jungle guide and friend of 14 years, Circo Petit lost 3 brothers this week to COVID 19 due to lack of oxygen and medicines.
Please help the people in this struggling city.