Dermatologist Greg Bourgeois was one of the 4 doctors who helped to treat 380 patients with doing over 400 consultations in Trujillo, Peru June 5th to June 9th. The consultations were done at the clinic of a local church that also has a school and medical clinic, Peru Mission.
“Thanks to the faithful service of the doctors, our clinic was teeming with people,” said Alleen Tomás, CFO of Peru Mission.
The doctors are all members of Trinity Presbyterian Church in Birmingham, Alabama which was collaborating with Peru Mission. They have been working together for 12 of the 15 years of Peru Mission’s existence.
“Many people were able to get minor procedures done that would have been otherwise cost prohibitive. Further, several received proper diagnoses or clarification for conditions they may have had and better treatment plans thanks to the American doctors that were visiting,” Tomás said.
Treating Peruvians with a Variety of Conditions
Dr. Bourgeois treated a number of patients, most of them with conditions such as psoriasis, rosacea or acne that are also common for him to see in Alabama.
Perhaps the most extreme case that was treated was the patient who had served in the army who Dr. Bourgeois treated for keloid scars from a grenade explosion (right). Dr. Bourgeois was able to remove many of the scars, provide treatment to prevent future scarring, and establish a plan for this patient to have continued treatment for his scars at the clinic.
While Tomás was thankful for all the doctors and the great help they offered throughout their trip, some specialties are harder to find than others in Trujillo.
“One thing is for sure: no one would have had any of the dermatological treatments,” Tomás said.
Helping Peru Mission Assist Victims of Recent Flooding
The trip was to Trujillo, a normally arid city on the coast of northeastern Peru that was recently devastated by flooding. The trip was altered slightly by Peru Mission so the doctors could spend a morning treating people in a nearby suburb of Trujillo that was especially affected by flooding.
“Peru Mission was instrumental in bringing relief to many of the neighborhoods that were badly affected by the flooding” said Jimmy Gill, the Associate Pastor at Trinity Presbyterian.
Peru Mission provided a number of important services to residents affected by the flooding. They were able to quickly instal water tanks to provide access to potable water, and helped supply residents with clothing, food, hygiene and sanitation in the aftermath of the flooding.
The four doctors were able to provide much needed support to help supplement the medical care that Peru Mission has been providing for residents.
“The people at Peru Mission do such great work and were able to really get the word out. That helped us to be able to treat a lot of people who aren’t fortunate enough to have access to the national health insurance,” said Dr. Bourgeois.
The Doctors that went to Peru
The group of doctors included (from left to right) General Surgeon Sam Douglas, Dermatologist Greg Bourgeois, Anesthesiologist Michael Narveson, and Orthopedic Surgeon Grady Maddox.
It was the second trip for Dr. Bourgeois to Trujillo to work with Peru Mission and the first for the other doctors.
Dr. Bourgeois noted that many of the skin issues were very similar to what he treats every day in Birmingham and Alabaster, Alabama. He treated eczema, acne, rosacea, psoriasis and did numerous skin checks for skin cancer while in Peru.
Until the clinic gets the necessary permits and is able to build out the rest of the clinic they will likely not be able to hire the necessary medical staff to treat people in the area and will remain chronically understaffed. Visiting doctors such as Dr. Bourgeois, Dr. Narveson, Dr. Maddox and Dr. Douglas are a great help to the community during this time where residents who do not have access to the national health care system are left without options.
The doctors did get a little bit of time to enjoy the area while they were in Peru, as they fit in an afternoon of surfing and were also able to participate in a game of soccer with residents.
Trinity Presbyterian Church will continue to work with Peru Mission to help further their cause.
“I was very encouraged by what they are doing there and I look forward to helping them again in the future,” said Dr. Bourgeois.