(Editor’s Note: Dr. Jennifer Eames is the founding director of the physician assistant program at Hardin-Simmons University. She and a group of students spent spring break on a mission trip to Peru. Eames sent the following report from the trip. Photos were posted on Facebook by team members.)
By JENNIFER EAMES
A team of students from the Hardin-Simmons University physician assistant program spent four and a half days at at clinic in Peru over spring break, seeing more than 700 people.
The team, consisting of 15 students, five health care providers, and a Hardin-Simmons staff member, partnered with Buckner International, well-known world wide for its work with families, children, and orphans. Buckner International is planning to build a Family Hope Center in the community where the Hardin-Simmons team served, outside Cusco, Peru.
This week we were able to treat patients, pray with families, provide glasses to over 300 people, perform procedures, distribute donated toothbrushes, and provide health education programs.
Patients were all weighed, had blood pressure, heart rate, temperature, and respiratory rate taken. They then were given the opportunity to be evaluated for glasses and wait to be seen by either a physician assistant or physician in the education room.
The education area reviewed topics like skin care, hand washing, oral health, reproductive health, and the dangers of alcohol and tobacco use. There were great questions by the patients, who seemed very engaged in the education talks. Each adult also had a glucose level taken before seeing a provider.
HSU’s PA program carried over 20 large suitcases of donated medicines, hygiene items, glasses, and equipment from local and regional church groups, individuals, Global Samaritan Resources, Hendrick Medical Center, The Lions Club, and Dr. Rocky McAdam’s office. We were able to leave the few unused items with local providers for later use. The most requested treatments included multivitamins and anti-parasite medicines, as clean water is not available in the community where we worked.
The team has been covered in prayer by many around the world for months and have truly been fortunate to have both beautiful weather and great health. The group had one last activity, a trip to Machu Picchu before returning on March 18. We are so honored to have had this opportunity to share the love of Christ with people in South America. We have all been blessed by spending time with the vibrant people of Peru and are thankful for the opportunity to be a part of the healing profession.