The 20th of March 2023 marked the official opening and blessing of a clinic in our mission in Perù, with the name of Policlinico Maria Madre de las Missiones.
The story of this clinic dates back to 1999, when the priests of our Society decided to venture further up, precisely beneath the mountains, in a district that was called Cayma, today known as Alto Cayma.
When the Fathers arrived in this district, the inhabitants were a handful of people scattered here and there, living in really poor houses. They were a community of people who migrated from the mountains and came to Arequipa in the hope of finding work and improving their lives. Today things changed since currently, the population reaches around 30,000 people, distributed in 28 zones.
“When we arrived,” says Fr Alex Busuttil, who today is the Regional Superior of the Mission in Perù, “we straight away started to look into what we could do for these people to have a better life. Amongst their many pressing needs, was the lack of medical care.”
The people themselves offered Fr Alex Busuttil a room, and he thought of getting a doctor and a nurse to start giving some basic medical assistance. Two years on, in 2021, two more rooms were built, which were utilized as a small clinic in a place called E. N. A. C. E. Dean Valdivia, where more people lived. Since then, more and more rooms were added as their needs started to increase.
Medical care in Perù is very poor and it wasn’t likely that the local government was going to build a clinic for these people. The people started seeking medical assistance from this makeshift clinic. Seeing that from one year to the other, medical needs were growing at a rapid rate, Fr Alex and the other members, decided to embark on a big project; that of building a functional clinic. The clinic was to provide medical assistance to the people who form part of the three parishes run by the MSSP, which reach around 60,000 people.
The clinic turned into a small hospital, since besides having various rooms for doctors, it also has a room for minor operations as well as a Chapel.
It is worth mentioning that the medical staff is made up of professionals who are Peruvian, American, European and Australian. They are also assisted by medical students and professors from various voluntary organizations and universities.
The clinic is part of a network of other smaller clinics, that the MSSP set up in other zones where it operates. All this could be done with the help of the donations that are collected from the Oħloq Tbissima marathon as well as other donations.
The clinic was set up with God’s blessing and is undoubtedly another monument to the Servant of God Mons. De Piro, who from Heaven is surely happy with it, and is blessing what his sons and daughters do with the poor.