Name of the activity: Sembrando Esperanza Peru!
Country/NMO: Sweden (IFMSA-Sweden)
Program: Communicable Diseases
Contact information: [email protected]
Type of the activity: Campaign.
Prevention of Communicable Diseases | Tuberculosis
Individuals that live on the streets in Lima, Peru are living under conditions that exposes them to drugs, prostitution, illnesses, violence and crime. These individuals are especially vulnerable to different infections such as tuberculosis due to malnutrition, bad hygiene and poor living conditions. Other examples of infections that they run higher risk of contracting because of their way of life are HIV, hepatitis B and C. It is also common that these individuals become infected with more than one disease at the same time which leads to a faster decline in health.
Peru is a country with a high burden of tuberculosis, especially among poor people. There are proper health care facilities for treating tuberculosis in the country but the people living on the streets cannot get access to these facilities. These individuals lack finances to pay for health care and bureaucracy often prevents them from getting access to social welfare. (Many of the people living on the streets are illiterate and have never gone to school.) Some individuals also lack identification papers and they can therefore not claim their rights as Peruvian citizens. Furthermore there is a risk that these persons are discriminated against both by health care personnel and other authorities.
Tuberculosis is a bacterial infection and it is curable with antibiotic treatment. The treatment period in long, at least six months but sometimes up to two years. The side effects are usually both common and severe. Even if an individual regain his or her health before the end of the treatment it is important to complete the whole treatment to be certain that all the bacteria is killed off. If the treatment terminates to soon there is a risk that the disease flares up again and that the bacteria becomes more resistant towards the antibiotics. Therefore it is necessary to have a stable home environment with access to food, shelter and a social network to be able to fulfil the treatment. We have not been able to find any other care home that can function as an alternative option for these tuberculosis infected individuals. Other care homes charge money, have long queues and/or use difficult acceptance systems.
Target groups and beneficiaries:
A care home opened in Lima, Peru in April 2010. The homeless individuals who are taken into the project receive treatment, nutrition and shelter. The home environment for these individuals is safe and caregivers provide support, care and guidance. When the individuals have recovered enough we try to help them to receive education and/or training in order to become self-sufficient Peruvian citizens.
Our main focus is on the tuberculosis infected individuals but the harsh reality on the streets in Lima makes us admit persons without that disease. There are other socially vulnerable individuals who have difficulties finding the help they need due to old age and/or disabilities and other illnesses. They lack the financial resources and cannot for some reason access the social welfare system. These individuals are also in great need of a stable home environment with access to food, shelter and a social network.
Objectives and indicators of success:
To provide a safe home for socially vulnerable individuals (especially focusing on tuberculosis infected individuals) in Peru’s capital, Lima
Indicator of success: That a care home for socially vulnerable individuals is set up in Lima, Peru.
Enable socially vulnerable individuals to receive tuberculosis treatment as well as treatment for other diseases.
Indicator of success: That the individuals living at the care home receives tuberculosis treatment as well as treatment for other diseases.
Help socially vulnerable individuals with studies and work
Indicator of success: That the individuals living at the care home receives work and/or can study.
Maximize the ability to use local resources to get the project to cover its own costs
Indicator of success: That local resources cover parts of the cost for running the care home.
Raise awareness about the rights of individuals living on the streets, according to the UN Declaration of Human Rights.
Indicator of success: To give lectures, write articles and in other ways inform people about the rights of individuals living on the streets, according to the UN Declaration of Human Rights.
Promote humanitarian ideals and medical ethics
Indicator of success: Providing a safe home for socially vulnerable individuals in Peru’s capital, Lima.
Be a contact link for cooperation with other organizations
Indicator of success: To have cooperation with other organizations
Provide opportunities for voluntary exchange and scientific exchange
Indicator of success: Help individuals to come to the care home in Lima for voluntary and scientific exchange.
To manage the association’s assets and income in the form of gifts from
private individuals, surplus from various arrangements in IFMSA and sponsorship from companies. The Board shall ensure that these funds are transferred to Peru with the least possible administrative costs.
Indicator of success: To transfer the funds with very little or no administrative costs.
IFMSA-Sweden’s largest mission is to find sufficient financial support for the project. We are therefore constantly looking for companies, private individuals and other organisations who want to sponsor the project. We are also helping interested individuals to come to the home as volunteers. We are raising awareness about the situation in Lima by having lectures and different events. The practical work in Lima is carried out by the teacher and social worker Jenny Huaman Sulca, and her co-workers.
Plans for evaluation:
Each year we write an annual report about how we have worked to reach our objectives. The positive results are that several of our caretakers have recovered from their disease and been able to leave the home. Unfortunately a couple of individuals have passed away at the home. These individuals had advanced tuberculosis and even though they received proper hospital care their lives could not be saved. We find it equally important to help and treat these severely ill individuals during the end of their lives.