In the summer of 2011, SGHA organized and executed a medical mission to Lima, Peru. Our student team was able to work alongside both American and Peruvian physicians to serve patients.
We worked from churches in two different areas in Lima and saw over 100 patients each day – often entire families in the same visit. By the week’s end, we were overwhelmed by the gratitude we experienced from our patients. Working with patients and hearing their stories undoubtedly made a lasting impression on each volunteer’s heart. It was also fascinating to work with Dr. Gismondi who led our team. He made such an effort to teach us not only about medicine but also about being a better and more humane doctor. This trip opened our minds and hearts to international health needs. It was such a gift to be able to work with Dr. Gismondi, the people of Peru, and each other.
We’ve included an excerpt from a student journal below, illustrating their experience in Peru and the impact that it had on them.
"When I left for Peru, I knew that it would be a life-changing experience. To be able to use the knowledge and skills I have gained in my training to help others was truly amazing. Even if all I could do was hug a crying woman whose stressful life and migraines were a constant source of pain, I felt like I was doing my part to make the world a little brighter. One of my favorite aspects was interacting with the children. It warmed my heart to see the smiles and excitement of the kids when they were given chewable vitamins or had their faces painted. The time spent with the medical and mission team was no less inspiring than the experiences I had with the Peruvian people. It was incredibly rewarding to be with people who wanted to do their part to help anyone they came into contact with and to share their love for all of their fellow human beings by giving their time, skills, and hearts." - Zayneb Mohamad
Peruvians have unique health care issues due the high altitude and mountainous regions in which much of the population lives. In particular, respiratory infections are especially common and children are most vulnerable.
We also saw how access to health care for rural and impoverished Peruvians is limited. Malnutrition and poor hygiene contribute to dangerous infections and weakened immune systems. Our medical mission to Lima allowed us to better understand the unique care needs of Peruvians.