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Peruvian Families Face Deadly Cold

  • December 7, 2010

A brutal cold snap in Peru left thousands of families vulnerable to pneumonia and other illnesses. Known as El Friaje, the cold weather was particularly deadly in isolated mountain areas of Peru, killing hundreds last fall.

In response, AmeriCares provided support for potentially lifesaving medical care and urgently-needed supplies.

The grant from AmeriCares allowed local partner VIDA Peru to purchase antibiotics, fever reducers and critical items to fight pneumonia and respiratory infections.

Over 1,900 people who’d fallen victim to El Friaje received medical treatment at the AmeriCares-supported temporary clinics.

“AmeriCares works with partners who can reach the most vulnerable communities,” said Camille Grippon, AmeriCares director of Latin American Programs. “VIDA works not only at major hospitals and clinics, but also through rural medical missions such as the Friaje campaign.”

VIDA Peru medical teams brought medical items and expertise to remote villages outside Puno. The harsh, unexpected spell of frigid weather led to thousands of cases of pneumonia, bronchitis and other serious respiratory illnesses.

Peruvian farmers and others living in these small, rural communities have no access to health facilities, medication or medical treatments. Missions like this one and periodic government clinics are the only way families living in these rural areas receive medical care.

In addition to medical aid, more than 500 blankets were distributed through village schools for children to share with their families to keep warm.

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