By Chito Quijano
The humanitarian and educational mission in Brazil is another huge success! Participated by 13 RNs, NPs, a nursing student, an MD, and a pharmacy tech including 2 staff, we served a total of 617 patients in 5 different locations. Out of 617 patients, 63% are female and 41% are pediatrics. Our medical team was joined by members of SEEPE – Sindicato dos Enfermeiros no Estado de Pernambuco including their president Berenice Garces and 3 local Medical Doctors.
All our volunteers had a great and life-changing experience. Our first stop was in Recife. We served patients in an occupied building led by the Homeless Workers’ Movement. Although we only served 20 of them in this site, all of them needed medical care as they do not have access to healthcare. Their living conditions exposed them to health hazards. Most of the patients we served were in Santa Cruz do Capibaribe and in Cumaru. In Cumaru, there were many patients with upper respiratory problems and in Santa Cruz, many children have gastro-intestinal issues. The last community we served was in Muquem de Uniao dos Palmares – a Zumbi’s Village. Many of the residents are descendants of Zumbi dos Palmares – a hero of Quilombo Resistance. Our nurses and doctors also treated many children and women with gastro-intestinal ailments.
Most of our medical supplies were purchased in Brazil. Besides being cheaper there, Brazil restricts importation of foreign drugs.
On June 19th, our delegation was officially recognized by the State Legislature of the State of Pernambuco. We were also received by the Health Secretary of the State. Together with SEEPE members, we were able to do a walk-throughs in 2 public hospitals: the first one was the Hospital Da Mulher do Recife (Women’s Hospital of Recife) and the 2nd , Hospital Barao de Lucena.
During the trip, two of our nurse volunteers celebrated their birthdays: Zebora Perryman (Montefiore) and Tiffany Yu (NYP-Brooklyn) – an indication of their deep commitment in serving the people.
Here’s the video of the Brazil medical mission reported and produced by Rony Curvelo. Thank you for the support of the New York State Nurses Association:
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