Leila McNicoll: Reflections From Peru
Leila McNicoll arrived in the La Esperanza district of Trujillo, Peru this past summer to volunteer with CMMB. Her role as a community nurse takes her into the community daily to deliver compassionate care to families in their homes. Here she shares her reflections.
These past months in Peru have been bustling with activities including collecting child hemoglobin levels, educating local community health agents, and leading community engagement campaigns. What I have been most impressed by, is the tireless dedication of the CMMB team to their work. It’s not merely focused on a specific health project, but work which really seeks to improve the overall health of the community.
Amidst a plethora of child weights, heights, and hemoglobin levels, my CMMB colleague Sister Carmen and I went to visit an elderly woman from Chile, who came to Peru in search of a better life in the house of her sister. She has been profoundly immobilized due to an issue in her lumbar spine. Like many refugees in La Esperanza, she is unable to afford the cost of necessary medical expenses, or even access the transportation to get to the hospital down in the city.
Sister Carmen and I listened to her story and then documented her disability to help get her the resources and transportation to obtain appropriate health care services. We then helped to reposition her, and I gave her some tips to try to prevent further injury due to immobilization. This is not an uncommon occurrence.
While we focus on the treatment of young children and their mothers, the community in La Esperanza knows there is a genuine care for all. This cements the deep-seeded trust in the education and services of CMMB. The people know that they can go to community leaders for any health concern and that we will do our best to get them whatever they need.