Health Care Promotion

In Chijnaya basic preventive and primary health care is provided by the nurse assigned to the community’s Health Post by Peru’s Ministry of Health (MOH). More complex medical problems are referred to the Health Center in Pucara, some 6 kilometers away, staffed by a physician, midwife, nurse, and, occasionally, a dentist.

Further referral can be made from the Health Center to the Regional Hospital in Ayaviri, about 40 kilometers away. Many services, including transportation for patients, lab work, radiology, optometry, dentistry, and other specialties, are not available at Health Posts and Centers.

In response to needs identified by the community, the Chijnaya Foundation sponsors periodic health promotion campaigns to supplement the services provided by Chijnaya’s Health Post and the Health Center in Pucara. These campaigns are carried out in collaboration with other groups, such the Health Committee formed by residents of Chijnaya, personnel from the Health Center in Pucara, the Puno Lions Club, and the Global Health Department of Loma Linda University. Community residents who attend the special clinics contribute small fees ($1 or less) for the services provided.

In 2007, four students from the Global Health Department of Loma Linda University’s School of Public Health, along with their professor, Ann Stromberg, offered a campaign focused on eye care.

Loma Linda University Global Health students screen school children's vision.

Our Health Promotion Campaigns Have Included:

  • Provided education on eye care and prevention of eye problems, using small group discussions and an evening of community theater, music, and dance. Community members collaborated with the Loma Linda students in writing the script for scenes addressing aspects of eye care and did all of the acting as well as performances of dance, poetry, and song.
  • Screened all school children in Chijnaya and a neighboring community for problems with vision.
  • Hired a Quehua-speaking ophthalmologist and assistant from Cusco, for a six-day clinic, to examine the eyes and vision of children, youth, and adults. Some 430 residents received eye examinations.
  • Worked with the Puno Lions Club volunteers to provide corrective lenses for persons needing glasses.
  • Assessed contributing factors to eye problems, e.g., high altitude (13,000’) combined with outdoor work that increases exposure to UV rays; frequent exposure to wind and dirt; indoor smoke and particulate matter from cooking fires in unventilated kitchens
  • Promoted the wearing of hats and sunglasses to protect residents’ eyes from such risk factors and to prevent the early onset of cataracts and pterygium.
  • Provided funding for two people to have surgery for pterigium and cataract surgery for a small number of seniors from Chijnaya. Further follow-up for cataract surgery is still needed.
  • Provided two well-attended presentations on nutrition, by Peruvian nutritionist Neda Pomé , a member of the Loma Linda team.

The Chijnaya Foundation looks forward to collaborating in additional health promotion campaigns in Chijnaya and other communities. We welcome inquiries from health care providers who might wish to work with us in the future.

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