November 7, 2018 3:27 pm

#GiveMED

Written by Lindsay Mahaney

This giving season, choose to support #GiveMED — MEDLIFE’s fundraising campaign in conjunction with Giving Tuesday. By supporting MEDLIFE, you’re supporting hundreds of thousands of people in their fight for equal access to healthcare, education, and a safe home.

To donate to #GiveMED, visit our website donation page, or text the code GIVEMED to 44-321. With your generous contribution, you will be joining the Movement to create a world free from the constraints of poverty this holiday season.

Supporting the MEDLIFE Movement #GiveMED

GiveMED

Giving Tuesday occurs the Tuesday after Thanksgiving and is a day of global giving. Fueled by the power of social media, the campaign raises millions of dollars each year for non-profit organizations and charities worldwide. This year, MEDLIFE is participating in this incredible initiative to spread our Movement and raise money to empower patients and projects like these:

Give Medicine

Felix was working a labor intensive construction job to provide for his family when he fell and injured his head three years ago. Instead of treating the injury, the hospital gave him basic painkillers and sent him on his way. When the MEDLIFE team met him in Tena, Ecuador, he suffered from convulsions, fainting, and near immobility on his left side due to a cranial fracture. Unable to afford treatment, he had been forced to live with the side effects of his injury. Fortunately, he is now enrolled in our patient follow-up program where he receives physical therapy. With support from Chapters like the University of Southern California, who donated $1000 to his surgery, we are collecting funds to sponsor a surgery for him to receive titanium mesh to replace the broken piece of skull.

MEDLIFE’s team of local professionals work with patients from impoverished communities where we serve. Through our Mobile Clinics and follow-up care program, we are able to provide thousands of patients with high quality health care they would not receive otherwise. #GiveMedicine

Felix

Give Education

The district of Ventanilla just north of Lima is home to thousands of people spread throughout several communities. When we work with communities like this, we work hand in hand on community identified issues. One of the primary items identified: the need for quality health care — especially women’s health. Educational workshops within communities like Ventanilla cover topics ranging from breast and cervical cancer to sexual health. MEDLIFE’s professional staff discusses the risks and warning signs of breast cancer and the importance of performing regular self breast exams, as well as the importance of Pap smear exams and preventing cervical cancer. Community members also receive a hands-on workshop demonstrating how to perform a self exam.

These workshops are an important part of the MEDLIFE Movement because they provide a safe and open environment where community members can express concerns. Afterwards, requests for check ups at Mobile Clinics skyrocket! #GiveEducation

Ventanilla

Give Development

Señora Susana lives in one of the rural communities surrounding Cusco that were part of our Healthy Homes initiative. Through Healthy Homes we work to provide better living conditions by building fuel efficient, well ventilated stoves, promoting hygiene and nutrition, and improve access to furniture. For most families, open flame stoves are their main method for cooking. Firewood is cheap and easily accessible, unlike gas. However, cooking over an open flame is dangerous and can cause serious health problems, most commonly respiratory diseases. Due to the thick smoke, family members — especially children — often suffer from cataracts, blindness, increased risk of infections, chronic pulmonary obstruction, anemia, and lung cancer.

When MEDLIFE renovates a Healthy Home, not only are we providing an easier way to prepare food, but also providing a healthier environment for families. With a new stove, people like Señora Susana can lead a healthy, happy life. #GiveDevelopment

GiveMED2

Giving Back at Home

While the ultimate goal of #GiveMED is to celebrate and encourage giving globally, a parallel goal is that this initiative brings our Movement, Chapters, and fundraising together. We’re calling on all of our Chapters to hold a fundraiser on Giving Tuesday to support the Movement as a collective, worldwide group. Chapter members will hold any fundraising event that they want, big or small, on Tuesday November 27, 2018 to encourage their friends, family, and even kind strangers to #GiveMED.

Similarly, we encourage you to support the Movement throughout the entire giving season by not only donating but also sharing projects from MEDLIFE’s Headquarters and the incredible work you do at home on social media using the hashtags #GiveMED and #MEDLIFEMovement.   

To donate to #GiveMED, visit our website donation page, or text the code GIVEMED to 44-321.

April 27, 2017 8:19 am

The Beauty of the Andes

Written by Jake Kincaid

MEDLIFE has two separate destinations, Cusco and Riobamba, where we work in primarily in rural indigenous communities in the Andes mountains. These communities are in very scenic locations in the mountains. This post showcases that the incredible beauty of the Andean communities that we work in. 

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April 4, 2017 8:50 am

Water Tanks in Laderas Completed

Written by Jake Kincaid

      In March of 2017 MEDLIFE completed our largest water project yet in the community of Laderas de Nueva Esperanza, in Lima Peru. The three water tanks will serve about 500 residents from Laderas de Nueva Esperaza. The community is located high on the hillside and is dependent on water trucks. They are located so high, that the water trucks rarely drive to their community. Before the tanks, residents quickly ran out of water before the trucks returned. Now, with the tanks, residents will have enough water to last between visits, and be able to purchase the water at the much cheaper bulk rate to fill the water tanks. On Saturday April 1st, MEDLIFE staff, volunteers, and Laderas residents gathered to celebrate the completed project. Thank you to community leaders Victoria Ramos, Feliciano Curiñaupa, Gavilan Quispe, Nora Lopez, and Santiago Quispe. Also, to Paola Zapata, Cesar Reyes, and Dr. Carlos for your work and for speaking at the inaugeration.

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IMG 7742MEDLIFE staff, interns, and volunteers together at the inaugeration.

  

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The community surprised us an amazing performance of traditional Peruvian dance!

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Historic flooding and mudslides have hit Peru bringing the worst destruction from floods in two decades. An estimated 70,000 people have been displaced from their homes along with an estimated 72 dead due to the natural disaster.

Referred to locally by the Quechua name of huaicos, these natural disasters are a results of heavy rain brought on by the El Niño season in the Pacific ocean. The rains cause the rivers to overflow bringing floods to the normally dry desert coast of Peru.

IMG 0952Armando Calderon points to where his house was before the huaicos.

The flooding has overwhelmed local water treatment plants and Lima, Peru’s capital city, has been without water for almost a week. The Peruvian government has issued a state of emergency around most of the country as floods and debris flow into the streets.

The rains are predicted to continue into April, bringing more flooding to the already affected areas. Areas with vulnerable access to water have been completely cut off from their normal supply. The aguatero trucks that normally suppply many of our communities with water have stopped visiting, and many supermarkets have completely run out of water. Tap water was not working in large parts of the city for up to a week, and receiving intermitent water in other parts. 

IMG 0971A railroad is decimated by flash floods from huaicos in Chaclacayo.

Critical infrastructure has been damaged, the bridge that connects El Augostino y San Juan de Lurigancho collapsed due to the overflow of the huaicoloro river, makes access to the district very difficult. Many other roads and railroad tracks have been completely washed away.

This week, MEDLIFE went to survey the communities we work with around Lima that have experienced flooding, to make a plan for immediate relief aid and possibly plan a development project for the future. We visited Chaclacayo, a district hit badly by the force of the huaicos 

Screen Shot 2017 03 21 at 5.35.12 PMThe Chaclacayo District is one of many regions in Peru affected by the huaicos.

IMG 1010The village of Brisas de California, in the hills of Chaclacayo, experienced flooding and mudslides taking out bridges throughout the village. 

In Chaclacayo, people are lacking basic necessities like food, shelter, medicine and water. People in the valley experienced flash floods after surges of water hit the Rîmac River. The floods swept away homes, railroads and roads in it’s path.

 

IMG 0920Victims of the huaicos have been using tents as temporary shelter.

 

Those displaced by the huaicos have been seeking shelter in encampments of tents provided by the municipality of Lima. Guadelope, a resident of Chaclacayo, has been sleeping in a tent with her daughter since their home was flooded. When asked what she needed most, she responded with food.

With forecasts of more rain, the situation is expected to worsen bring more huaicos to the already vulnerable communities.

We have started a fundraising campaign to go directly to communities affected by the flooding. You can donate HERE. During times of natural disaster, direct donations can have the most impact because the money is going directly towards supplies for victims to start rebuilding their lives like food, water and medicine.

 IMG 1037In Brisas de California, huaicos overwhelmed the waterway, eroding the banks and taking out bridges.

Sources: 

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-peru-floods-idUSKBN16O2V5

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-39318034

http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/death-toll-rises-72-peru-rains-flooding-mudslides-46225609

https://www.theatlantic.com/photo/2017/03/peru-suffers-worst-flooding-in-decades/520146/

http://gestion.pe/economia/huaico-huaycoloro-ocasiono-caida-puente-talavera-san-juan-lurigancho-2184846

 

February 22, 2017 10:50 am

The challenge of getting to the hospital

Written by Sam Roberson

In the weeks following MEDLIFE’s mobile clinics, nurses are busy traveling door to door to patients homes to follow up with those who need further care after the clinics. This is the second step. After the medical clinic has come to the patients, the nurses will come to patient's home to talk more about treatments.

In the community of San Martin, Carmen, a MEDLIFE nurse, talks to an woman in her sixties through the door of her bodega. She had visited a mobile clinic in her neighborhood and this is her first meeting with a nurse to choose to become part of MEDLIFE’s patient follow-up program. Carmen explains her symptoms could be indicative of breast cancer and she should have a mammogram.

“What do I have to do?”, the woman responds.

It’s a valid question. MEDLIFE aims to break down the barriers to healthcare, the most obvious being the monetary, but long waits, transportation and  A trip to a clinic or hospital can mean a day away from the responsibilities at home or work, a steep cost to those living in poverty.

Carmen tells her a MEDLIFE nurse would accompany her to visits and assist with paperwork. She decides to join the follow up program to get a mammogram.

554 hospital visits Those living in the outskirts of Lima can have a long journey without paved roads into the city for an appointment.  

For Luis Oyolo, a trip to the hospital is a family affair. Luis must use a wheelchair due to a fracture in his vertebrae. He typically has at least two family members accompanying him to visits, for loading in and out of taxis and navigating the curbs and bumps of Lima.

Many taxis will choose to not transport Luis due to the burden of loading and unloading the wheelchair. MEDLIFE is able to cover most of the cost of the taxi, but the cost of time used by Luis and family members spending most of their day in a waiting room is still there.

Luis waits anxiously with his father and brother for a consultation in the National Institute of Rehabilitation in the south of Lima. This is the only hospital with a rehabilitation program close to where Luis and his family live. The waiting area is full of patients, young and old, waiting for an appointment as well, most accompanied by family. When Luis is called in, they spring at their chance to talk to a doctor.

“I was first hospitalized in a hospital very close to my home, but unfortunately not all hospitals are the same,” Luis said. “I was in a hospital for 20-30 days, where the doctors did not come, they did not see me, they did not take care of me.”

Finding a hospital with the right care and ease of access for a patient is crucial for a long term solution. Although it is Luis says this hospital is still close to his home, making a physical rehabilitation program one step easier. Throughout his rehabilitation, a MEDLIFE nurse will work with Luis, helping to sort out the various papers and forms.

MEDLIFE can cover almost the entire cost hospital visits and operations, although even with funding, the daunting task of navigating the Peruvian healthcare system can keep those who need care out of hospitals and clinics. One of the most valuable services MEDLIFE nurses give to patients acting as a guide to the healthcare system and accompanying them to check ups and procedures.


Money is not the only barrier to healthcare. To fully address the problem of healthcare access in a sustainable way, local and personal difficulties must also be taken into account.

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