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Public Health Students Return from Peru

Team Peru has returned from 3 weeks of exciting work in Trujillo, Peru. Scott Benson MD, PhD, MPH led 8 students through Peru and they have now all returned home successfully and healthy. 

While in Peru, students worked with their academic partner institution The University of Cesar Vallejo (UCV) to complete two-part COVID-19 study. First, they conducted a knowledge, attitudes and practices survey in the communities compared those findings with similar studies done in Ecuador, Venezuela and China. The second part of the study collected a blood sample from each participant to determine the presence of antibodies to COVID-19.

They found that

  •  96/98 individuals had antibodies to COVID-19 from either vaccination or prior infection. In contrast to the US. In Peru:
  • 98% believe that masks function do reduce the risk of transmission
  • 93% were able to identify common COVID symptoms compared to flu
  • 93% practiced isolation when experiencing symptoms

Also interesting was that of those interviewed:

  • 86% believed that COVID could be controlled with effective public health measures and
  • 94% believed that Peru could “win the fight’ against COVID.

These findings were shared with our colleagues in Trujillo who were excited to see students able to work on research projects, analyze the data and effectively present their findings to a professional audience, even in Spanish. The administration and School of Medicine is excited to continue our education and research collaboration into the future and is looking for additional community concerns and interventions they would like to examine together in the coming years.