CUDA’s health branch, Pura Vida, is launching its newest initiative this month. We’re calling it ProCED (Programa de Cuidado y Educación para Diabéticos), a play on the Spanish word proceder, meaning “to proceed”. We are proceeding from and building on last year’s work done mostly by Andrew and Bethany Gray in the clinic in Arequipa’s district of Hunter. The Grays started doing free Diabetes screenings for patients in this clinic a little over a year ago and have established a great reputation for CUDA there. Finger-stick blood glucose readings allow us to see who has abnormally high blood glucose. We’ve screened over 850 people thus far.
As we’ve found diabetics, we’ve offered periodic Diabetes Education sessions to groups of diabetics and their families, but ProCED will go even further. It’s the next step in the fight against Diabetes in Hunter. We have developed a comprehensive follow-up approach for the diabetics we’ve found and who wish to enroll. The follow-up plan is reproducible and can be done with very minimal health training. The plan is basically to be personal health promoters for these patients, teaching them how to manage their disease, making sure they are staying healthy, getting regular check-ups and labs according to the recommended guidelines, and seeing specialists when necessary. I think many diabetics fall through the cracks of the health system here and suffer unnecessary complications like blindness, amputations, depression, and kidney failure leading to early death. We believe that if Jesus were here, He wouldn’t stand by and let these things happen.
Another huge reason we’re excited about ProCED is that its going to allow us to form deeper personal relationships with these patients. Our screening program is a great service, but we usually only see each patient one time for 10-20 minutes. With ProCED, each one of us volunteers will be following our designated patients every month, and there’s a good possibility we’ll even be able to do home visits. I think it will be a great opportunity to share our lives and talk about Jesus. I think He’s going to get several referrals in the coming months and years.