Burned Children in Peru
Peru is situated in South America and has a population of 30 million people. Approximately 8 million live in the capital city Lima, and the rest along the coast and in the interior. Around 32% of the population of Peru live under the poverty line of less than $2 per day, and approximately 20% live in extreme poverty of less than $1 per day.
Poverty, overcrowding, lack of parental supervision and lack of education are important contributors to the high incidence of accidental burns in children. 60% of these children are under 5 years of age. Annually, 7,000 children would benefit from intensive rehabilitation and long term follow up care.
Burns are caused by accidents related to:
- open candles
- cooking on or near the floor
- kerosene lamps
- pots of oil or boiling water on the floor
- unsafe electrical connections
- widespread use of pressurized gas for cooking
The Peruvian government provides support for in-patient acute burn treatment, but it does not cover rehabilitation. The scarring from severe scalding burns often creates disfiguration, physical deformity and functional limitation. This requires specialized rehabilitation and follow up until the child is fully grown. It is this rehabilitation that ANIQUEM offers.
Young burn survivors will have scar tissue that can cause enormous problems for the growing child – problems that they are ill equipped to deal with.
Treatment can make the difference between a useful and happy member of society and a physically and emotionally crippled one.
Today ANIQUEM has more than 3000 patients, and a staff that includes the doctors, physiotherapist, occupational therapists, 2 CAFA social workers, a psychologist, a specialist in pressure garments, and office staff.