After graduating from San Augustin Medical School, in his hometown of Arequipa, Dr. Anibal Pepper moved to the States for surgical training at Hines Veterans Hospital and Loyola University Medical Center. While in training, he was called to serve the US Army as a surgeon in Vietnam and during that service he volunteered at the local Vietnamese hospital and orphanage.
After the war, he finished his surgical training and began serving Arequipa during annual trips to visit family. He taught new surgical technologies and developments at his Alma Mater and provided free care to the poor at Hospital Honorio Delgado, Arequipa.
“I felt that if I was going to be in the States working and having the good life and got the advantage of the great medical knowledge I acquired, I should try to go back to my country and help,” said Dr Pepper.
In 1981, Dr. Pepper and Dr. Guido Lozada, also a graduate of San Augustin and plastic surgeon at Stanford University, recognized the need for a burn unit. They, along with Dr. Galdo, Chief of Surgery at the Facultad de Medicina, approached the hospital for space, and a wing of the fifth floor was designated for the unit. By hosting fundraisers and seeking equipment donations, the members of the Illinois Indiana Chapter of PAMS were able to provide the unit with the necessary equipment. Dr. Pepper provided five weeks of training and, thanks to arrangements made by Dr. Lozada, Dr. Munoz had four months of training in plastic surgery at Stanford.
Under the direction of Dr. Munoz, and with the ongoing support of the Illinois Indiana Chapter, the unit has become one of the best in the country. With the success of this model, Dr. Pepper and the Chapter created another burn unit in Iquitos, a city in the Amazon jungle. Experienced personnel from the Arequipa Unit traveled to Iquitos to train local nurses. And likewise, personnel from Iquitos went to Arequipa for on site training and experience in the original Burn Unit.
From August 29 to September 7, 2008, fifty-nine volunteers worked at the Regional Hospital Honorio Delgado and the Peruvian Air Force Hospital. Thankfully their 40c/f container, with 8 tons of medical and surgical equipment, arrived two weeks in advance of the mission. Utilizing their donated, state of the art laparoscopic equipment, they performed 168 major operations, 59 eye surgeries, and 14 plastic surgeries to correct severe burn scaring. The optometrists examined 1,000 patients and gave free prescription glasses to those who needed them.
After the Mission, volunteers were given the opportunity to take tours of Cusco, Machu Pichu or Colca Canyon.
The Medical Mission will be from July 1 – 9, 2011, immediately following the PAMS Annual Convention in Arequipa.
Illinois Indiana Chapter of PAMS; Lakeview, Homewood, Arequipa, Oak Park River Forest Rotary Clubs; and River Forest Roosevelt Middle School
Social Service Projects:
- Establishment of a Center for Early Detection and Treatment of Cervical Cancer in the Arequipa Regional Hospital. Dr. Luis Ugarte, Dr. Edgar del Castillo, Dr. Jose Galvez.
- Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at the Burn Unit of the Arequipa Regional Hospital. Dr. Juan Angelats and Loyola team.
- Oncological Surgery by a team of gynecologists.
- Pediatric Program. Dr. Julio Lara Vale and team.
- Limited hernia and laparoscopic surgery at Arequipa Regional Hospital. Dr. Anibal Pepper
- CPR Course for instructors. Aurora Mendez, RN.
- Dental program at Ciudad de Dios Clinic in conjunction with Universidad Catolica.
- Manantiales Daycare Project – donation of supplies and equipment, visiting and helping with the children
- Shelter for the homeless in Chipinilla
- Livia Bernal de Baltazar Elementary School
To support this mission, please click on the donate tab and designate the Arequipa Mission or contact Dr. Pepper at firstname.lastname@example.org