• Gustavo Driau

Working diligently to care for affected communities

Updated: May 15, 2020

The team of the "Integral Women's Health in Cusco" program, of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Peru (IL-P) is working on an awareness campaign about the contagion and prevention of COVID-19

The program works in the Sol de América neighborhood, San Sebastián District, Cusco, Peru, where the Talita Kum Congregation of IL-P is also located.

The project has two professional nurses as coordinators, Cynthia Kancha Meza and Malu Echegaray, who facilitate the project, prepare educational material and hold workshops at the project headquarters. Volunteers participation is a strength of the program, and they participate almost in every activity.

The ELCA-World Hunger Program finances the project and the Lutheran Church of Peru is responsible for the project.

In early 2019, the project established alliances with the Talitha Kum Congregation, PRONOEI “Rayitos de Sol” and the Glass of Milk program.

The program promotes a decent life for all, focusing on women, also girls, young women. The objective is to improve the health and quality of life of the women and girls in the community girls. The program intends to work with 100 women from Sol de América, improving their habits and medical care.

The project seeks to improve hygiene and healthy eating habits. It also works on awareness of environmental care and information on non-communicable diseases: diabetes, hypertension and cancer.

The emergence of the coronavirus forced adaptation of the project activities to the challenging context of the pandemic. Starting in the third week of March, an awareness campaign was started to prevent COVID-19 infections in the Sol de América neighborhood. Explanatory leaflet distribution activities are implemented "under the door" to avoid contact between people.

Hand washing techniques and hygiene guidelines are disseminated in homes and in institutions that work with women and children.

In Cuzco, it is difficult to access basic supplies to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, alcohol in gel and masks tripled in value, although they are mandatory requirements for going outside. Cuzco the government implements nighttime curfew (8:00 p-m. to 5: a.m.).

According to the Ministry of Culture, there are eight native nations in Cusco, a total of 335.000 people, 27% of the inhabitants of that region. The most numerous nation is Quechua. Only 48% of the indigenous population has drainage; and 75% drinking water.

The women in the Sol de America neighborhood participate actively in the"Integral Women's Health program, and firmly they are increasing they empowerment and participation.

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