I said goodbye to the clinic and we headed home for my last lunch with my host family. Lunch was a feast, and it was delicious. Mommy made fish, corn on the cob, baked corn, vinegar onions and peppers, three kinds of potatoes, and watermelon to conclude the meal. I was so full of food and of love.
The last patient of the day was a 15-month-old boy with a 42-year-old mother. The young boy could not walk, was unresponsive to verbal cues, and had a fever of 38.6 degrees Celsius (101.5 Fahrenheit). According to medical records, he has congenital heart failure, Down syndrome, and growth stagnation.
It took coercing and candies to get many of the kids to hand over their arms, but this is important. They need to know early if they have anemia. It is worth the temporary pain of a finger prick. Peruvian medicine (and all other medicine) has to remember that preventing disease is far better than finding solutions to disease. This seems intuitive, but it is not always the applied practice.