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Latest News in Peru / Archive for Health

Health | July 22, 2011 [ 13:38 ]

Peru reports first case of Hantavirus

Hantavirus (Photo: CDC/Cynthia Goldsmith )
Through an official statement, Peru’s Ministry of Health confirmed a woman has died of the Hantavirus, in the province of Loreto. She is the first victim to ever die of the incurable virus in Peru.

The woman was a 29-year-old who worked as a tour guide in the area. Upon arrival at the hospital she had a fever, abdominal pain and low blood pressure.

An article published in El Comercio explains that the deadly virus infects people through contact with rat feces and urine. In light of the situation the Ministry of Health has been attempting to raise awareness of the virus, because there is no vaccine or specific treatment for the disease.

Authorities are asking people of Iquitos to take preventive measures with the cleanliness of their homes. They advise people to wear a mask when cleaning a room that has been closed for a long period of time and prevent the entry of rodents.

Officials also emphasize that dead rodents and their feces should be handled with extreme care. They should be sprayed with bleach, handled with gloves or plastic bags and then buried or burnt completely.

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Health | July 21, 2011 [ 14:38 ]

Universal health care for Peruvians, by end of 2012

Óscar Ugarte (Photo: Andina )
Óscar Ugarte, current Health Minister, has said that if current policy is maintained, 100% of the population will have health insurance by 2012.

In an article published by Andina, Ugarte recalled that only 36% of Peruvians were insured in 2006, and that currently 70% of the population was covered.

He estimated that it would take less than two years to reach the hundred percent mark.

Ugarte expressed he was confident that the new administration would continue and expand policies aimed at providing universal health care for all Peruvians.

Speaking to Andina, Ugarte held that for 25 years, there had been no investment in health care infrastructure or equipment, which amounts to around S/. 9 billion.

"These past five years have seen an investment of S/. 4.6 billion, which represents a breakthrough, but it also means that there is a certain path we must follow in order to close the gap," he said after attending the opening ceremony of the new building for the National Institute of Children’s Health, in San Borja.

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Health | June 30, 2011 [ 10:23 ]

Demand for healthy beverages in Peru is growing faster than for soda

Free Tea Light performed better in the Peruvian market back in 2009 than the Ajegroup projected. (Photo: Ajegroup)

The demand for healthy beverages in Peru is growing faster than for soda because the former is a relatively new category in the local market, said the Ajegroup in Peru.

Ajegroup executive vice president, Gonzalo Begazo, said that when a new product is introduced it can get a explosive start, according to the laws of the market.

"So with soft drinks you have an established practice to which all that can be added is promotions and advertisement," Begazo told Andina.

In this regard, the Peruvian consumer is increasingly consuming new, innovative and healthy products.

Gonzalo Polanco, marketing manager for Ajeper, explained in 2009 that in the domestic market there are few brands of healthy beverages, but for two months, when the company launched Free Tea, sales have been higher than projected.

"According to the great reception given to Free Tea in a few months, we can deduce good performance with other brands in this category," he said.

He said that unlike soft drinks, water, juices and nectars, these drinks have properties beneficial to health.

Ajeper Free Tea Light is made with green tea extract and lemon and also has no preservatives, caffeine or sugar.

He said that individuals between 18 and 24 years of age are more likely to by this type of product because he says consumers at that age take a greater awareness of their health.

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Health | June 27, 2011 [ 9:32 ]

Peru's Universitario win first U-20 Copa Libertadores


Universitario players celebrate after winning the first edition of the Under-20 Copa Libertadores in Lima, Peru, on Sunday. (Photo: Vidal Tarqui/Andina)

Peruvian Universitario de Deportes beat Boca Juniors of Argentina in a penalty shoot-out to win the first edition of the Under-20 Copa Libertadores in Lima on Sunday.

La U defeated favorites Boca Juniors 4-2 on penalties after the game finished 1-1 with Alvaro Ampuero opening the scoring for the home side at 22 minutes and Gaston Rossi scoring for the tie early in the second half.

The match, played at Monumental Stadium in front of a 40,000-strong crowd, was an even match, with notable scoring opportunities for both sides throughout the 90 minutes.

The first edition of this U-20 club competition was played in Lima, Peru, with the participation of 12 teams, including Mexico's America and Peru's Alianza Lima who placed third and fourth, respectively.

Sergio Unrein of Boca Juniors and Cristofer Soto of Alianza Lima shared the top scorer's award with four goals each, while Universitario star Edison Flores was crowned the tournament's best player.

See El Comercio's best photos from the match

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Health | June 21, 2011 [ 15:34 ]

Yellow alert for dengue declared in four departments of Peru

Loreto, Madre de Dios, San Martín and Amazonas are all under yellow alert. (Photo: Living in Peru archive)

The Ministry of Health has declared a yellow alert for 60 days for the health centers in the departments of Loreto, Madre de Dios, San Martín and Amazonas, due to the persistence and extent of dengue fever.

According to the technical report, the prevalence of dengue may be due to climate factors, as well as difficulty in controlling the virus.

The General Bureau of National Defense, through the Regional Directorates of Health, will disseminate, monitor and evaluate the implementation of this resolution, Andina reports.

Dengue is transmitted by the mosquito Aedes aegypti and among its symptoms are high fever and headaches, as well as muscle and bone aches. In some cases, when the disease is severe, there may be bruising and bleeding.

In February health authorities declared a red alert in Peru's northern Amazon jungle region following the outbreak of an "very aggressive" dengue strain that lead to the death of 14 people and affected thousands.

Dengue is endemic to the jungle region, but until now Peru has largely dealt with the American strain of the disease.

Now Peru is facing "a new variety that we did not previously know and that probably entered from Brazil via the Amazon," Minister of Health Oscar Ugarte told Peruvian media in February.

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Health | June 21, 2011 [ 12:22 ]

Olympians to run the Inca trail

Roberto Carcelen roller-skis in the Andes. (Photo: Rene Lovaton)

Winter Olympic medalist Martin Koukal from the Czech Republic and fellow Olympian
Roberto Carcelen from Peru are leading the running expedition called “Joining the two
lost Inca’s cities – from Choquequirao to Machu Picchu” from July 1 to July 13.

Over a period of five days, the two professional cross-country skiers will cover a route that is 50 miles long and exceeds 30,000 feet of elevation gain.

Roberto Carcelen was a runner and surfer before his wife introduced him to cross-country skiing.

“Cross-country skiing is considered the hardest sport in the world, and that aspect really attracted me,” Carcelen told the New York Times in a 2009 interview.

Carcelen was the first Peruvian ever to qualify to the Winter Olympics.

The running expedition is coordinated by Inca Runners, LLC, a US-based adventure travel company founded by Carcelen in 2003. As a part of the Inca Runners Ambassadors Program, Inca Runners LLC is inviting a number of world-class athletes to visit Peru.

Carcelen learned of the Chasquis first time he went to the Andes.

"They were endurance messenger runners from the Inca Empire, they had the role of posting and delivering goods to the Inca royalty running on the Inca Trail system," he said. I got inspired by the ideal of these old Peruvians and the fact the the Inca Trail system is still there, to offer all inclusive running tours on the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. I ran all those trails several times, they are amazing, best altitude training while visiting the main tourist attractions."

The Inca Runners expedition says its trips have two goals. First, to promote Peru as an attractive high-altitude training destination for endurance athletes who want to improve their overall fitness goals and second to deliver donation care package and interact with kids in the villages along the route.

“Our Ambassador Program has scheduled three more trips to Peru in 2011 and ten trips for the 2012 season. All the trips are lead by Olympians and elite, world-class athletes”, says Hugo Mendez, Inca Runners CEO.

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Health | June 21, 2011 [ 8:51 ]

Peru finance ministry authorizes $172 million for sanitation projects

More money has been appropriated toward the government's Agua para Todos program.

The Ministry of Finance has authorized the transfer of S/. 474 million to fund sanitation projects under the government's Agua para Todos (Water for Everyone) program.

Of the total funds, some S/. 441 million will be distributed to local governments and S/. 31.9 million will go to regional governments, reported, citing an Andina article.

The ministry also approved the transfer of S/. 8.32 million from the housing, construction and sanitation ministry to local public sanitation service providers.

The projects have been declared feasible by the national public investment system.

The regional and local governments will begin the selection processes for projects within the next 10 days, the report said.

Launched in 2006 by president Alan García, Agua para Todos aims to reach universal potable water and sewerage service coverage in Lima and Callao.

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Health | June 1, 2011 [ 16:27 ]

Peruvian doctors visit the US to learn about its health care system


Peruvian doctors visited the United States to learn about its health care system. (Photo: Internet)

About a dozen Peruvian doctors, pursuing masters in business administration degrees at the Universidad Peruana de Ciencias Aplicadas, traveled to the state of Pennsylvania in the United States for a week-long introduction to America’s health care system through DeSales University.

Their visit took them to local dentists, medical practices and the Lehigh Valley Hospital. They also participated in presentations explaining America’s health care reform and other related topics.

Presenters were continually impressed by the astute and pointed questions their Peruvian visitors asked, said David Gilfoil, director of DeSales’ MBA program said. They weren’t hampered by their translator and asked great follow-ups, he said.

“The hospital today was just amazing,” said Dr. Cesar Rosales, 30, after the visit.

The students have varied reasons for pursing MBAs in addition to their medical degrees. Rosales said he works in the pharmaceutical industry and the additional degree will help him grow professionally.

Dr. Alvaro Aservi and Dr. Gilmer Diaz, who works in a community hospital and a private practice, each said they want more experience managing a health business.

Gilfoil thinks there will be an increasing intersection between the worlds of medicine and business as the health care systems of the future develop. MBA programs teach students things like teamwork, organizational behaviors and efficiency to avoid waste; all valuable tools in a medical setting, he said.

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Health | May 26, 2011 [ 10:01 ]

Nine metal containers will serve health need in San Juan de Lurigancho

Nine metal containers are expected to open June 2 to serve San Juan de Lurigancho. (Photo: El Comercio)

The mayor of Lima, Susana Villarán, yesterday surveyed the adecuacy of nine metal containers within Park Huiracocha in San Juan de Lurigancho.

These containers, according to Villarán, will operate in lieu of the proposed Hospital de la Solidaridad starting June 2. The hospital project has been halted because of opposition from the mayor of the district, Carlos Burgos, El Comercio reports.

To operate the modules the General Directorate of Health will inspect them this week. Due to a lack of inspection and an operating license, Burgos ordered the halt on the work of the hospital that was supposed to be inaugurated this month.

"The permissions (of this establishment) are also pending," said a spokesperson for the Municipality of Lima.

It should be noted that in December Burgos closed another location of a Hospital de la Solidaridad, which occupied land in their municipality. The modules will serve some 800 patients.

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Health | May 24, 2011 [ 4:06 ]

NGO seeks doctors and volunteers to help in Huancavelica

Health campaign in Huancavelica. (Photo: Andina)

Soul of the Peruvian Andes (SOPA) is a nonprofit organization started by Castrovirreyna native Luis Rebatta and his family who recognized the need and the ability they had to reach out and help the rural poor in the department of Huancavelica.

SOPA sponsors a medical campaign once a year and provide services for free. More than 700 patients are treated from small towns in and around Castrovirreyna, Huancavelica.

SOPA also donates computers to the local schools and have renovated and maintained the community center, which is used for treating patients throughout the year.

It's a young organization with plans to continue expanding its campaign by soliciting more doctors in all fields, and donating more dental chairs to other communities in order to expand in the area of dentistry. All of this is made possible thanks to SOPA's board members, friends and doctors who donate their time.

During the second week of October, SOPA will return to Peru with volunteer doctors from the United States. The organization is soliciting more doctors from all fields of medicine.

To participate in this upcoming medical campaign or for more information as to how you can help, please contact Castrovirreyna native and SOPA founder Luis Rebatta by e-mail at or at U.S telephone number (718) 476-9642.

You can also contact SOPA's president in New York, Dr. Gabriel Garcia at or at U.S. number (516) 413-7013.

Read feature on Luis Rebatta: Soul Man, an annual pilgrimage of giving in Peru's Andes

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