Planning your elective--Peru
Mark Wilson has some useful information about going to Peru
- By: Mark Wilson
Peru is on the west coast of South America with a great deal to offer the travelling medic, especially if you speak Spanish. The bustling city of Lima is home to seven million people, but over half of Peru's population live in rural areas. With its great Inca empire and the Andes, there is plenty to do outside hospital work. In general, Peru is warmest around Christmas time, but the temperature obviously varies from the Andes to the tropical Amazon Basin. Remember that fluent Spanish is essential if you intend to go to remote areas and highly advisable even in Lima.
There is no “free” healthcare system and at least a nominal charge is made for most health care. Infectious diseases, especially tuberculosis and malaria, and more recently cholera epidemics, are a major problem, especially among poor people. The lack of iodine in the mountainous regions means that there is