Campaign Hernia surgery, Ventanilla June 2018
The campaign of Hernia International and Cirujanos en Acción took place in the public hospital of the Ventanilla neighbourhood in Lima, Peru, from 11th 21th last June. 8 days of full work.
Team: General Surgeons: Jose Mª Perez Alfranca (CA), Nicola Clemente (HI), Juan Porta Medina (CA), Irene Miron (R4), Laia Torrent (R3), María Pitarch Martínez (R4) Anaesthesists: Beatriz Fort Pelay (CA), Javier Mora Burbano (CA), Guadalupe Sedeño(CA).
The group arrived in Lima on the 9th and 10th last June and lodged in the Miraflores neighbourhood at about 20 km from the hospital.
The Ventanilla public hospital is 11 years old, it has about 10 royal beds for the surgical service, with 14 surgeons, 6 anaesthetists and 17 nurses. They are very well prepared at their level (level II), and very specially the one of the infirmary with excellent collaborators. We would like to express here our appreciation for such professionals.
The social and financial traits of the neighborhood are rather low, being in the periphery of the area controlled by the Barrio del Callao with its tendency for independence, self-control and closeness to the harbor and the airport.
The daily trip from our quarters to the hospital through a thick traffic took between 30 and 45 minutes. We reached the Centre before 8 a.m. and started our work at once. We dealt with 20 to 25 patients, and we finished at 4 or 5 p.m. Between 2 and 3 we had lunch. We want to express our thanks for the menu as well as to the staff.
The surgical staff deserves special mention, particularly Doctor Bernaola.
The operation theater has 5 rooms. We operated in 3 of them, and occasionally in 4 with the collaboration of local surgeons. The 5th was reserved urgencies which, as is usually the case, were gynecological urgencies.
The patients were listed in a waiting list which had been prepared through an “Informative Campaign” through local media of the Callao Regional Government which insisted on the gratuity of our work. This gratuity did not reach the intervention as such and the anaesthetic and surgical material which the patient usually has to pay from his pocket in spite of it being a public hospital.
The list included local patients who had been previously examined the surgeons from the Department in their pathology and preoperatory. Both were seen by our group who approved them all except for two cases in which the previous pathology was not found.
About 170 patients from about 150 (as recorded in another document) were treated. The group contributed anaesthetic material, medicines and sutures. We used the instruments of the Centre.
The results of the campaign are recorded in a separate document.
As a commentary on procedures we must say that they were chiefly ambulatory and relatively simple, against what one expected to find in such a depressed zone. Factors like the difficulties to remain hospitalized postoperationally 24-48 h. made it impossible to treat other pathologies as we would have wanted.
With due protocol we were welcomed and given farewell by the Direction and Head of service in two official meetings, and we treated to night supper on the 21st.
We end by saying that our group of voluntaries has shone an excellent technical level and a human quality which have made of those days a fantastic experience.
My personal greeting for all of them. They have been fantastic companions.
Dr. José María Pérez Alfranca