An important part of CAFA's mission is to make sure that children in need of treatment and rehabilitation for burn scarring can access it. The transportation program specifically assists child burn survivors in the most need that come to the ANIQUEM clinic. As there is no other location in Peru that offers comprehensive and integrated rehabilitation for scarring from burns, children from across Peru may need to travel considerable distances in order to get help at ANIQUEM.
The various treatments require that the children and a care giver return to the clinic on a regular basis. Unfortunately - with a large percentage of families living in poverty or extreme poverty - even bus fare from within the city becomes a financial strain.
Our transport program supports children from this socioeconomic group. For those living in and around Lima, transit fare for the child and a care-giver is provided for each visit to the clinic. In many cases, money for food is provided as well. For those who must travel to Lima, tickets on buses from outside the city are provided. These children typically must come for up to a week, three or four times per year for treatment. The transport program also helps with lodging and food for the patients and their guardians while staying in Lima.
In 2020 the number of patient visits dropped dramatically because of a two month forced shutdown of ANIQUEM, due to the pandemic. With the clinic open in 2021 more children than ever are now being accepted into the transport program, even though each child is programmed to come less frequently to the clinic.
The lock down due to COVID 19 has meant that availability of bus service from outside Lima is much reduced and costs to CAFA per trip are rising.
Einer is eight and lives with his grandparents in Huanuco. At the beginning of April of 2021, he was watching his grandfather work one morning, repairing shoes for which he was using a flammable liquid, and when Einer got too close he was enveloped by a sudden burst of flames from the fire. He suffered from burns to his face and ear, and was admitted to hospital for two weeks. Even though he is in third grade, because of the COVID lockdown and the lack of formal schooling for the past year, Einer cannot read or write. However, he has now moved to Lima to live with an aunt who can help him more with his education.
When she was 2 years old, in December 2019, Ruth was sitting by a cooking fire in their kitchen when she jostled the wood on the fire and a pot of boiling water fell over onto her. As a result she was hospitalized for almost two months in Lima. She lives with her single mother and sister, and they come from Ica, five hours south of Lima by bus. They have many economic problems; however, at three years Ruth is a sunny child who makes friends easily and loves to participate in activities whenever she comes to ANIQUEM. During Covid interprovincial transport has been difficult, but our social worker has been in touch and CAFA has been able to help the family with some money for groceries(see photo). Ruth soon will be returning to ANIQUEM for some new pressure garments and the therapy she needs.