Peru January 2016

In January 2016 Michel Listenberger, OD, FVI, (VOSH-MI) with a team of three St. Olaf students organized and conducted a mission trip to Cusco and Willoq, Peru.

A primary focus of this mission was to explore and experience the delivery of health care to Peru.  This consisted of a college undergraduate class that began with classroom learning in Northfield, MN and continued with three weeks in Cusco, Willoq and Ariqueppa.  Three students along with myself were assigned to eye care delivery although other students had the opportunity to rotate into the eye care area of delivery.  Eighteen students participated in a January interim term class.  This was the first time for eye care to be included in this project.

During the first week in Cusco we worked at an orphanage.  Other orphanages brought people into our clinic as well.  Here we saw 125 patients, mostly young people ages seven through eighteen. Here we found needs for about 25 pairs of glasses.  We also brought sunglasses from a student fundraiser for the children.  The clinic was conducted in the orphanage.

During our second week we were in Willoq about an hour from Cusco.  Here we examined the local population which was almost completely speaking their local dialect of Queshwa (interpreted into spanish).  Here we saw about 125 people who were mostly adults.

In all we used about 150 pairs of glasses and are storing the remaining glasses for a future trip.  There glasses made a huge difference for a lot of people since the youth certainly couldn’t afford the glasses and the Willoq community didn’t have access to eye care.  Three patients were referred to Dr. Nathan Henson (two for cataracts and one for glaucoma).

This was a first-time small trip but all objectives were achieved.

Respectively submitted,
With sincere appreciation,
Michel Listenberger, OD, FVI