Today the team visited the Hospital Loayza in Lima, a hospital that belongs to the public sector of Peru´s healthcare market with many hundreds of beds and over 500,000 patients annually, servicing primarily the members of the population that cannot afford private healthcare. While rounding with Peruvian physicians, we encountered cases such as pulmonary fibrosis in an individual working within the heavy industry sector and a rare case of a suspected embolism within the hepatic portal vein in an otherwise healthy individual. These two cases reflect the diversity of problems encountered in a country like Peru, a country with many ethnicities, three distinct regions, and a diverse host of diseases.
We held a forum with a local Peruvian internists, where we discussed among other topics the impact of tuberculosis on the Peruvian population. Many challenges exist for the medical community in treating tuberculosis due to compliance issues (due largely in part to issues with the distribution of the medicines to a diffuse population). These challenges could play a part in the 15% drug resistance and the 5% extensively drug resistant tuberculosis cases in Peru, of which about half in all of Latin America occur in Peru.
Encountering physicians and experiencing the impacts of access to, as well as the challenges in delivering,effective healthcare in low-resource environments has proven enlightening for me. I am looking forward to learning more!