WiRED International Chooses Site for Community Health Information Facility in Remote Region of Amazon



WiRED International completed a third trip to Peru—this time to a different, more remote part of the Amazon headwaters, 2,000 miles from the Atlantic ocean—to evaluate the region’s need for medical training and information.


The team flew from Lima on the Atlantic coast to Iquitos, which lies in the rainforest of eastern Peru and is completely inaccessible by road. Iquitos has a tertiary care hospital and most of the conveniences of a city, even though it is completely isolated. We departed Iquitos for our journey down the Amazon to reach the smaller towns. During the trip, we ate and slept on our boat, The Nenita.


WiRED again partnered with the Polus Foundation (www.poluscenter.org), which coordinates humanitarian efforts in South America, as well as with Project Amazonas (www.projectamazonas.org), a U.S.-based non-profit, which arranged our transportation and coordinated the visit. Our group comprised some 14 people, including five British physicians, an American dentist, a boat crew and photographers, who were working with an NGO-assistance organization called AidJoy (www.aidjoy.org/).


In coordination with our partners, WiRED identified the town of Pevas, an eight-hour voyage from Iquitos, as our choice to serve as the next Community Health Information (CHI) Center, assisted by our W-HELP e-library (www.wiredhealthresources.net). As with our first CHI Center in Galilea, Peru, Pevas lacks electricity 24/7, so we will bring in solar power to run the laptops and overhead projector we will provide. Pevas contains small shops with access to supplies, but more important, it has a clinic where we can set up our facility.


Our CHI center will educate the community about health issues that are critical to this population, including maternal and child health, nutrition, water-borne illnesses and treatments, oral rehydration therapy (ORT) and a range of tropical illnesses. Clinic operators, trained by WiRED, can offer our existing modules, which they can update when they travel to less isolated towns, such as Iquitos, which have Internet access. We are also preparing ways to stock the CHI library on portable devices, so visiting villagers can take these health education programs with them.


With this upcoming trip to Peru, WiRED continues its mission to provide cut-off people in the Amazon with tools to improve their community health.



International acclaimed artist Francisco Grippa lives and paints in Pevas.