|Letters to the editor|
Medwave 2017 Ago;17(7):e7029 doi: 10.5867/medwave.2017.07.7015.7029
Multidisciplinary University Research and Service Camp: What is the role of Peruvian universities?
Christian Ponce-Torres, Erika Vasquez-Romero
In Peru, doctors newly graduated are required to work during a year in the Rural and urban marginal health service sector, mainly in Rural and marginal urban areas of the different regions of the country . However, during undergraduate training they have a little or no direct contact with the communities in rural areas, since most of medical schools do not have curricular programs such as the rural boarding school with the exception of two universities, National University San Antonio Abad of Cuzco and Peruvian University Cayetano Heredia of Lima where students spend their last two years of the career to do pre-professional practices in the Primary health care establishments .
In this context, the students from first to their seventh year of the scientific societies of medical students organize the Multidisciplinary University Camp for Services and Research with the objective to promote the interest of the students for the Primary health care. Each year they organize twelve camps in average with a length of seven days at the rural areas communities, set after coordination with the local authorities and health personnel to develop four main pillars; health education, social project, investigation and health attention. At the same time, these students prepare research work according to the needs of different communities. Unfortunately, not all investigations have been published in indexed journals in the last five years . Since these activities are promoted by students of the scientific societies and do not receive sufficient support from their universities, for example; financing, training, materials or logistics, advising from teachers and researchers, etc. Despite this, student’s efforts to put their economic and human resources enable them to, sometimes receive support from other institutions to be feasible in order to make the camps.
Another similar project known as Rural Intervention of Investigation and Sanitation is differentiated since it is organized in collaboration among students, teachers, researchers and authorities of the Peruvian University Cayetano Heredia . Both projects could be considered like extracurricular activities since they are complementary to vocational training. It is necessary that universities, as part of the community outreach and community development work together with students of scientific societies to strengthen the Multidisciplinary University Research and Service Camp to provide comprehensive care to the rural population who lack access to basic services (tap water, sanitation, electricity, among others) being vulnerable to health problems .
From the editor
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