Peruvian Service Members Train to Battle Dengue, Chikungunya

Peruvian Service Members Train to Battle Dengue, Chikungunya

By Dialogo
July 30, 2015

I am elderly. Do you think I can get the course to help my siblings and/or others who need it. I lived in Lima? It is very good and important to give instruction on his knowledge to those who are farthest from the city. I think it's excellent to prepare boys with any kind of activity geared toward their future and the good of the country. Of course you can take the class to help your relatives. Do it. This training effort is beneficial, since every sector should be ready to prevent illnesses in the communities and this way we will improve the populations' quality of life. It is a worthwhile humanitarian effort in the country; it should be replicated on a national level to fight different diseases. We would like to thank you for sending us interesting articles. We would also like to have the audio files to use them on our radio stations..

Peru’s Ministry of Defense workers and 41 Voluntary Military Service (SMV) members recently completed classes offered by the National Institute of Health (INS) to combat dengue and chikungunya.

The 400 hours of training will help young service members between the ages of 18-25 aid those suffering from the deadly fevers; those who completed the course at the Miguel Grau Military Barracks in Piura are considered “public health technicians, and are now ready to join Health Brigades under the Regional Health Directorates,” Peru’s Army reported in a statement.

Those graduates will ”assist in risk and damage prevention actions in their communities, particularly in cases of high incidence outbreaks like dengue and chikungunya, as well as activities to promote health and disease prevention,” according to the INS, which, along with the Health Directorate (DIRESA) of Piura, coordinated the classes for SMV Troops at Military bases in Callao, Lima and Ucayali.

INS Chief Ernesto Gozzer Infante led the graduation ceremony, which was also attended by Brigadier General José Rispigliosi, Chief of Staff for the Army First Division.

Promoting public health

The training focused on “promoting health, the foundations of public health, vigilance over water quality, surveilling and controlling vectors, food conservation, oversight for solid waste, oversight prevention and the control over select multi-environment zoonotic diseases,” Peru’s Navy reported.

It was the result of a cooperation agreement between the Ministry of Defense (MINDEF) and the National Institute of Health that has been operational since 2014 and is supported by the Health Directorate II – Lima South, as well as Regional Health Directorates for other parts of the country. The government plans on using the annual program to train 240 SMV Troops who are in the their second year of voluntary Military service; they can then join the regional government to work in community health.

Medical professionals trained the first group of SMV Troops from July 14 - November 20, 2014 -- 85 young Soldiers who were assigned to Military Fort Alfredo Vargas Guerra in Iquitos, with Troops from the Army’s First Brigade Special Forces in Chorrillos and the Callao Naval Base also participating in the public safety course. Since then, starting in January, 114 SMV Soldiers at the Voluntary Military Service contingents based at Pucallpa Naval Base, the Army General Barracks (Pentagonito) and the Naval Medical Center have received training.

Protecting the civilian population

“All of this instruction is an important pillar for the youth in voluntary military service,” said César Ortiz Anderson, president of Peru’s Pro Citizen Safety Association (APROSEC). “They have the option of continuing a career in the Armed Forces, and for many young people it’s valuable to be a representative of the Peruvian Army, Navy or Air Force.”

The instruction's also saving lives in a dangerous situation. In mid-July, health authorities reported 32 cases of endemic transmission of chikungunya -- 31 in the northwest region of Tumbes and one in Piura, which neighbors Tumbes -- according to Sin Embargo
. And on July 18, authorities extended a state of health emergency for 90 days in the province of Piura after 22 people died from dengue and the first endemic cases of chikungunya fever were detected. The health emergency remains in place in the regions of Tumbes and La Libertad.

To ameliorate the situation, the First Artillery Brigade is manufacturing about 100,000 ABATE pumps to protect civilians from dengue, chikungunya and malaria by eradicating mosquito larvae, preventing the disease from spreading. Meanwhile, the Armed Forces is also helping combat the disease in thousands of homes; 40 Peruvian service members from the First Cavalry Brigade, in coordination with the regional DIRESA in Piura, provided support for abatement at more than 1,800 homes in the town of Santa Teresita and in the district of Bellavista on June 26. And six days earlier, the Military, working with health agencies, fumigated all the facilities at the Inclán Barracks as a precaution.

“There are many communities in Peru that are not well informed about public health,” Anderson said. “It is important for service members – through these trainings – to help civilian society to learn what the risks and causes are if they discover a person is infected.”