Iquitos is the largest city in the Peruvian Amazon rainforest, and is generally considered the most populous city in the world that cannot be reached by road. Based upon needs assessments, Partners for Pediatric Progress is sending pediatricians, neonatologists, pediatric critical care experts and pediatric nurses to the Amazon region to train and work closely with our colleagues there.
The government’s Regional Hospital serves over a million residents in the city and surrounding rural communities of the Amazon basin in the State of Loreto. Given the isolation of some of the remote villages in the Peruvian Amazon, some children treated at the Regional Hospital have traveled by boat for over two weeks to reach inpatient medical care. In addition to conditions commonly seen in the US, patients on the pediatric ward present with dengue fever, malaria, snakebites, and other medical problems endemic to the region. Clinician-educators from Partners for Pediatric Progress work with colleagues in the inpatient nursery, in the pediatric intensive care unit and on the inpatient pediatric wards.
In addition to our partnership at the Regional Hospital, we’re also working with Peruvian partners in the primary care clinics of Iquitos’ impoverished community of Belen, and in other more isolated community clinics in the Amazon basin. For a portion of the year, Belen is flooded by the rising waters of the Amazon, and during these months the community is connected by an intricate network of planks above the water (as pictured in the image to the left). There is a teaming outpatient clinic in the middle of Belen, with a high volume of high-risk children seen at this site. The providers at the Belen Clinic have asked for primary care pediatricians from Partners for Pediatric Progress to work with them closely. While there, clinician-educators from the US also work with physicians and public health nurses up river, seeing children in more rural Amazon health centers, and supporting the public health efforts in these settings.