Peru – In times of pandemic, Salesians treat and save 720 patients

20 November 2020

(ANS - Lima) - The Salesians of Peru, through the "Fundación Don Bosco" and thanks to the collaboration of the Salesian Mission Offices and the coordination of the "Don Bosco Solidarity vs Covid-19" project, have been helping the population who for months now have been put to the test, thanks to the pandemic and its consequences. With the practical spirit proper to the Sons of Don Bosco, they deal with needs one at a time, ready for one intervention after the other, with the sole objective of bearing witness to God's love to brothers in need.

At the beginning of the Covid-19 emergency, the project envisaged by the foundation was aimed at buying food for those who were left without an income due to anti-contagion restrictions. But when the health crisis exploded in the country, authorization was requested to redirect humanitarian aid to health care.

Thus, during the hardest months of the pandemic in Peru, while there was a lack of medical care for the sick and oxygen cylinders in hospitals, the Salesians managed to treat and save 720 patients by providing them with a drug kit developed according to the indications of medical experts. Also, the Sons of Don Bosco purchased and distributed 20 pulse oximeters, very valuable tools for observing the evolution of the disease in patients and providing the most appropriate treatments.

Aid has reached many communities across the country: Pucallpa (200), San Lorenzo (150), Piura (100) Caritas of Yurimaguas (100), Arequipa (50), Monte Salvado (50), Lima (70).

María Luisa Maduell, head of the "San Tommaso" Parish, in Rio Paranapura - a missionary area in the Apostolic Vicariate of Yurimaguas that is difficult to reach - says: "Thanks to the Foundation's medicines, which arrived through Caritas Yurimaguas, and to others we had collected, we prepared kits for health promoters (local authorities or animators, according to circumstances), which they had to take and keep, after receiving a morning of training on Covid-19. Several meetings were held with few people and in the end everyone was given the anti-Covid-19 'first aid kit' to be able to store and keep the medicines properly (safe from ants, cockroaches, etc.)."

Rolando Nieto Zalasar is another beneficiary. He lives in Arequipa and being a vulnerable person and unable to afford drugs, he received his kit when he showed the first symptoms of the infection.

41-year-old Gloria Huancachoque also lives in Arequipa. It was the only source of income in her home, but she lost her job during the pandemic. Going out to do the cleaning to support her family, she contracted the virus and then passed it on to her children. She too benefited from the Salesian medicine kit.

Currently the Salesians of the various communities are asking for the support of other organizations because the pandemic persists and the economic situation has not yet fully reactivated.

"There is a lot of hunger around and we want to help, but the few resources we have are running out," says Fr Raúl Acuña, SDB, Vice President of the "Fundación Don Bosco".

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