Instrumental Access 2016
Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia: Centro de Salud Global
Meet the Center
The Centro de Salud Global (Center for Global Health) is located in Tumbes, Peru, a rural region near the border with Ecuador, approximately 800 miles from the main Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia (UPCH) campus in Lima. The multidisciplinary team of researchers who staff the Center includes physicians, veterinarians, nurses, biologists, and agronomists. Rather than bringing in outside experts, the Center was built from the ground up, steadily training a core of local staff into competent professionals who now direct the center. As one researcher put it, “as we are all from Tumbes, we are completely dedicated to improving the health of the communities we live and work in.”
Confronting Research Challenges in a Remote Community: Dr. Luz Maria Moyano
Dr. Luz Maria Moyano is Coordinator for Clinical Operations at the Center for Global Health Tumbes, where she has worked treating patients and doing community-based research for 13 years. She is currently pursuing a PhD in Neuroepidemiology from the University of Limoges in France.
Dr. Moyano’s areas of expertise are neurologic disorders associated with parasitic infections, including epilepsy and stroke. She teaches epidemiology to medical residents at Tumbes’ regional hospital and collaborates with the Ministry of Health on the area’s most pressing health issues.
“Although we excel in conducting field research, the capital expense of developing sophisticated laboratory infrastructure to support our studies has been consistently just out of reach,” Dr. Moyano says. “Instead, we rely on sending the samples we gather from the field to laboratories in Lima who perform the analyses we require, but at higher costs and with the delays and risks inherent with shipping.” This also denies the Center’s staff the opportunity to learn new techniques and to develop their own ideas.
“A well-equipped laboratory will allow us to make fast, efficient, and appropriate clinical decisions for participants in our studies,” says Dr. Moyano. “It would also allow us to collaborate more closely with the Ministry of Health and to support the laboratory needs for new and emerging diseases, such as Zika virus, Chikungunya, dengue, malaria, and others.”