Some of the most amazing days we spent on our trip were with Sacred Valley Health and a group of nursing and health students it hosted from SUNY Brockport. We helped document health campaigns at schools in the highlands of Peru. Arriving at a school in the morning, the volunteers set up teaching stations, on health subjects ranging from hand-washing to teeth brushing, and also gave each child a physical exam, prescribing treatments when needed. Many of these remote communities have extremely limited access to medical care. The importance of these visits to the schools cannot be overstated; in fact, the impact of these campaigns extend past the children to the whole village, as ailing villagers dropped in to get advice or treatment for their medical problems.
Despite the challenges facing a remote community, including access to professional medical care and safe drinking water, many health problems are preventable. Key to prevention is education. Part of solving the problem of malnutrition, is learning which foods comprise a balanced diet. Cavities can be avoided with good dental hygiene. Contagion can be contained by observing hand washing precautions. By educating a whole schoolyard of children, it is everyone's hope that these children will be able to go home and implement positive changes, and that standards for health will rise throughout the entire community.
We felt so touched to be able to witness the kindness and compassion with which the volunteers at Sacred Valley Health and the students from Suny Brockport administered care. Truly inspiring. To learn more about Sacred Valley Health, and to support the amazing work they do, visit its website here.
And now for some photos from our first day with the medical campaign at the village of Huilloc.
Such a wonderful experience! We will post more photos later this week from another day on the health campaign, at an even more remote village tucked on the other side of the mountain range.
Ariel + Sam