TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Teams of doctors from several Taiwan hospitals recently traveled to remote regions of the Amazon rain forest to provide free consultations and diagnoses to Peruvian Indian tribes.
Starting from February 10, Taiwan hospitals such as Asia University Hospital (AUH), Kaohsiung Medical University, I-Shou University Hospitals along with local medical units participated in the international medical mission in Peru.
In an interview with CNA, the director of AUH's neurosurgery department, Lin Chih-lung (林志隆), said the medical mission was harsh and tiring due to the long distance which required the team to use different means of transportation to arrive at the destination.
Lin added that the local people had never seen any doctors and only self-cured by herbs and traditional therapy. Their average longevity was less than 40 years.
Moreover, the majority of residents were manual laborers and their main dishes were potatoes and ripe bananas, which did not provide enough necessary nutrition. Therefore, the most frequent illnesses in the tribes were shoulder, knee and back pains.
Despite the difficulties and the exhaustion, Lin said the medical mission was worth the effort. "It's a blessing for Taiwanese people to enjoy a convenient and developed healthcare system," he said.