Vavrinak ’19 – Global Health Immersion


David Vavrinak ’19

David Vavrinak ’19 — Out of all the activities we did in Peru, the visit to the Neurological Hospital in Lima on Aug. 8 was the most memorable for me.

The day began with a presentation on neurocysticercosis by Dr. Javier Bustos. Neurocysticercosis accounts for 25 percent of all reported seizures in Peru and is common in most developing countries.

The doctors researching this disease were interested in treating all pigs and killing all the existing parasites, as neurocysticercosis is one of seven prominent diseases that can be eradicated in Lima. The cost of eradication, however, is quite expensive. This lecture really opened my eyes to the privileges we have in the USA, where this type of disease is rarely heard of.

In the States, when a disease that is both life-threatening and eradicable becomes an issue, the government provides sufficient funds so the problem does not persist. In Peru, however, the government does not have the same level of resources to provide. As I continue my journey to become a neurosurgeon, this trip to the Neurological Hospital will continue to ring in my head as a source of revelation and inspiration.