ANIQUEM is the Asociacion de Ayuda al Niño Quemado, meaning the Association for Assistance to Burned Children.
It started as the dream of Dr. Raul Rodriguez and Dr. Mary Malca, a husband and wife team of doctors. Dr. Rodriguez has been instrumental in introducing much needed improvements in the surgical approach and post-operative care of burn victims in Peru. Through his work, survival rates rose while the length of hospital stay fell. But he and Mary found that further treatment was necessary, beyond that covered under the Peruvian healthcare system. This care would give victims a chance to be happy and productive members of society, and to elevate themselves beyond their physical, and often psychological, scars.
In September of 1999, Dr. Rodriguez and Dr. Malca started ANIQUEM out of their home and by 2003 were able to move to a new clinic to provide professional, comprehensive rehabilitation for children scarred by severe burns. ANIQUEM remains the only such clinic in Peru, a country of over 31 million people, and continuously provides their services to the young victims of burns, free of charge.
ANIQUEM receives no help from the Peruvian government and is non-denominational. As their number of patients grows - currently more than 3000, mostly disadvantaged children - their resources are stretched.
When new patients arrive they are met by a CAFA social worker and then assessed by one of the staff doctors who recommends a treatment. These treatments typically include physiotherapy, occupational therapy, and psychological counseling. They may also require additional surgeries or to be measured for a pressure garment that is produced in an ANIQUEM workshop.
Children often require several followup appointments for themselves and their caregivers before ANIQUEM's work is done.
To learn more about ANIQUEM and their programs, please visit their website at aniquem.org.