Sunday, June 29, 2014


I reported on Fabiana in 2013. If you look at the blogs from last year, you'll see the information about this very intelligent 7-year-old girl who has Epdermolysis bullosa. This is an inherited connective tissue disease causing blisters in the skin and mucosal membranes. It happens in 1 out of 50,000.

Fabiana lives five minutes from St. Clare School. Both of the parent work. Here in Peru, wages are very low. They can modestly provide for their family. However, Fabiana requires lots of medications, vitamins, nutritional drinks, etc. When we saw Fabiana, we provided her with a four-month supply of a nutritional drink., to be used only once a day. If she has to use it twice a day, it is only a two month supply. We also provided her with a short supply of vitamins as well.

Our committee will be talking more about Fabiana when we return. We'll have to see how we can help her.

Here are a few pictures of Fabiana.

Reported by Deb Passino


Saturday, June 28, 2014

Difficulties in the Kitchen

As the chief cook and bottle washer, I've enjoyed cooking meals. I tried my best to keep the group well-fed. It is somewhat difficult working in the kitchen here in Peru. There is no hot water at the sisters. To wash the dishes, one must have one washbasin with soap water and the other with bleach water to disinfect them.

Also, to wash vegetables, one must use soap for the fruit and skinned vegetables and scrub them with a green scrub pad. Then one must rinse the vegetables in an iodine bath. It is a lot of work.

Shopping is difficult because one must take the motokar to the store and take it back home with all of the groceries. It is not very convenient.

Everything has a different taste here in Peru. It's a good different. There are fewer products to buy, except for soft drinks. Coke is most popular here. Also, did you know that the recipe for Coke here in Peru is different from the recipe in the USA? I think it contains less sugar and it comes in 3L jug.

I wanted to make Muesli chocolate chip cookies and they don't sell brown sugar or chocolate chips.  However, to make up for it, we bought two beautiful cakes, a mousse cake and a cheesecake. Their bakery and breads are wonderful. I haven't eaten this much bread in years!

The vegetables and fruits are fresh. The chicken is really good because it's fresh as well.

Submitted by Deb



Wednesday, June 25, 2014

La Clinica - Miercoles

It's Wednesday.  The first time this trip where we have had a larger amount if time to sit and reflect on the last few days.  No matter how much preparation, the first day usually feels like a "fly by the seat of your pants" experience.  I personally was thrown a hurdle to overcome on the first day.  The women on this mission trip are a group of the most wonderful people I know.  The problem was analyzed, trouble shot, and solved in minutes.  The rest of the day was not without additional stresses and obstacles, but they were met with the same fortitude by this group.  The second day has gone much more smoothly and with a great deal less stress.  I thank my prayer sponsor for that:)


The patients who present to the clinic are grateful we have come.  We have treated a number of people for malnutrition and parasites.  A few people have been newly diagnosed with diabetes and high blood pressure.  Even providing a small supply of Tylenol has been met with much gratitude.

Charlie and I spent this afternoon at a child screening clinic.  They were tested for a number of parasites and anemia (low red blood cell counts and usually iron deficiency). There is a lot of it down here.

We met Fabiana and her mother this afternoon.  She is a typical child with a medical condition, but lives in a less than ideal environment.  She likes recess, and likes to read--mainly fantasy books.  She has thinning hair and a number of lesions on her skin.  The vitamins we are bringing to her should help, but are probably not enough for the demand her medical condition places on her body.  Despite her condition, she is happy and go lucky.  And very polite!  :)

The roads and neighborhoods are dusty and dirty.  Despite the clouds, it does not rain much here.  Last winter, it rained seven times.  Not too many times this year, so far.  They have garbage collection, but the streets and open area are riddled with litter.  The housing here is very modest.  There are no water treatment plants, so we filter our drinking water and even use our water bottles for brushing our teeth.  The laundry is done in buckets and rinsed the same way and hung to dry.  Usually, the clothing is dry by the evening.    

The work is hard.  The company is great.  Having fun and making light of moments when possible.  The sisters are awesome.  Another group of fun loving women who can solve problems and bust down walls with little to no effort.

I would have to say we have all worked very hard so far.  Despite fatigue, we show no signs of letting up.  Kudos to Catherine for putting up with my lack of Spanish.  She has been my right hand for communicating with our patients.

Need to get food and start getting ready for tomorrow.  More to come!

Peggy Stickney, MD

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

First Day of Clinic - Tuesday Afternoon in PRONOEI

There were over 50 patients seen at the clinic in PRONOEI this afternoon. Most of the medicines, eye glasses, and various supplies, had to be placed in suitcases and transported via a motorkar. Once moved, it had to be set up again in the new location.

This area is a very poor area of town. The people do not have a title or deed to the home they have built in this area. In some areas of Paita, people have invaded the public lands and established neighborhoods; the government eventually gave them a title.

Some of the homes have electricity and some don't. They don't have inside plumbing which means they don't have running water. There is a large cistern and the city delivers water to it. It has very limited capacity so if cistern empties quickly, you're out until water is delivered again. It is city water and the water is filtered. However, it's not drinkable.

Without plumbing, the homeowner must dig a hole around their home and place a large tank, like a septic tank, and empty water and excrement  into this tank. Once the tank is full, it is filled with ash and another hole must be dug and placed in the ground. Those who can't afford a tank dump the excrement somewhere. In some areas, there was a nasty smell.

There is no garbage pickup in this area so one will see bags and garbage blowing in the wind.

No Road and Sand Everywhere

More Homes

This is the PRONOEI Public School run by the School Sister.
 Here's how we setup the PRONOEI clinic. There are two preschool buildings. The triage were in one building and the doctors were in the other.

Eye Glasses Donated by St. Paul parishioners and Anthem BCBS

Shelley setting up Pharmacy at PRONOEI

The Peruvian Public Health collaborated with our team to test children for anemia and they plan on following up with the families to provide assistance.

Peruvian Public Health Testing for Anemia

Families waiting for a doctor

More Waiting

Triage Area

Waiting for Patients

Taking Temperature
Miranda Translating for Nancy

Ellen Working a Family

Public Health Technician Getting Blood Sample

Dr. Peggy and Catherine

Dogs Everywhere

Dr. Peggy and Catherine Talking With Another Patient

Charlie Checking the Ears of a Child

Another Patient...

...And Another

Sister Paula Fitting Glasses

Ellen in Triage with a Patient


Dr. Peggy and Catherine With Patients

First Day of Clinic - Tuesday Morning

The first day of clinic was Tuesday morning at St. Clare School. As an individual with no medical background, I was providing support to the medical staff as needed. I did urine testing for a short time in the morning, helped patients try on glasses and select a pair of glasses and a case. I took lots of pictures to document our trip, and made the meals that day. I was a runner and did what I was told. I hope you enjoy the pictures I took that day!

Clinic at St. Clare School was open at 8am and closed around 1pm.  It's winter in Peru and reaches the middle 80's during the day. The early morning temperature is in the 60's, The people had to patiently wait to be called for check-in. 

The check in area is on ground level. Miranda is obtaining basic demographic information from this gentleman. Once that information is obtained, the people must walk up a flight of stairs to the second floor.

At the top of the flight of stairs is the triage area where the nurses obtain medical history. In these pictures, Nancy and Catherine are talking with the patients. Catherine is bilingual in Spanish and did the translating in this area on Tuesday. On Tuesday only, the same nurses that were taking the medical history were also obtained their vital signs, obtaining blood pressure, pulse, weight, etc. 

  The people waited in a very comfortable area until they were called by the doctor.

There was one medical doctor, Peggy, and one PA, Charlie.  Peggy did not speak Spanish and required a translator and Charlie is bilingual.

 After the patients were seen by the doctor, if they had vision problems, they walked over to an area with a variety of glasses.  The morning clinic finished around 1:30pm.

The staff had to eat and go to another location to provide services to another area of the city. All meds had to be packed into suitcases and transported via motokars. The afternoon events will be published next!

Deb Passino