Our mission goal and highlight of this mission was teaching hand washing for the prevention of infections and transmission of diseases, especially Hydatid cyst. The people assigned for this task were quite skillful in demonstrating the way bacteria is transmitted and how to prevent the infections. We should mention Dr. Joanie Weiss and Violeta Vargas in developing the techniques along with Katie Wegrzyn. Also they showed the “tippy tap” technique in order to have water and preserve it during the need for washing hands when running water is not available.
Another important program carried over from last year is to combat anemia with the Lucky Iron Fish. These iron ingots are boiled for 10 minutes in an acidic water and provide for 70% of the daily iron requirements for the whole family and will last for 5 years. These iron fish were shipped directly to Lima. Fortunately, the Ministerio de Salud exonerated the cargo from taxes, with the condition that each recipient had to sign for each iron ingot and be followed for the anemia. This could be a good pilot program in the near future. All the Lucky Iron Fish were donated to the Red de Salud of Angaraes for their distribution since they already have identified the children with anemia.
One final area addressed in the hospital was the poorly functioning laundry department. Most laundry was being washed by hand and hung out to dry. The two present washing machines are being repaired and do not have centrifuge action. There is no dryer available. We agreed to purchase an industrial centrifuge machine once the current washing machines are repaired.