A nurse from St. Paul is looking to take her skills and knowledge from the frozen climate of Alberta to the jungles of South America.
Haruna Meguro is teaming up with nine other nurses from Edmonton to take medical care, expertise, and supplies to rural communities in the Maynas Province of northern Peru.
The group of nurses are part of Young Nurses Take Action (YNTA), a non-profit organization that focuses on leadership, mentorship, and global citizenship of young nurses.
“The trip will last for two weeks, from January 3 to the 18th,” says Meguro. “For the first week, we will be going on a hospital boat that will travel along the Itaya river. There are a lot of little communities along the river, so we will be bringing supplies to them. And when we stop by, we will do some teaching and education, especially women’s reproductive health and family planning.
“We will have pamphlets and handouts that will be easy to read. During the second week, we will be working at a clinic that’s part of Project Amazonas, which works to provide healthcare to people in the Amazon. We will basically be working in an emergency room that serves remote communities in Peru. None of us speaks Spanish and we don’t have any translators, so it might be a bit interesting,” she said.
Meguro was born and raised in Sapporo, Japan and moved to Vancouver as a teenager before attending the University of Alberta to get her nursing degree.
She started working full-time at St. Therese – St. Paul Healthcare Centre in the summer of 2016.
“Being here in St. Paul has been awesome, and has helped me grow a lot as a nurse,” Meguro says, “and I want to be able to take the things that I have learned and help more people.”
She says that the cost of the medical trip to Peru doesn’t come cheap. In order for the trip be successful, YNTA nurses are aiming to raise $30,000 by the end of the calendar year.
“The money will be used to cover the cost of all medical equipment and supplies that we will have with us,” Meguro said. “We are hoping that if we reach our fundraising goal, we will be able to bring an ultrasound machine with us.”
To raise money for the trip, YNTA has created several t-shirts that are being sold for $25 each. Shirt orders are due by Nov. 26 and will be delivered by Dec.17.
Meguro is also participating in her own efforts to fundraise for YNTA.
“I will be at farmer’s markets here in St. Paul this weekend [November 23]. We will be having a bake sale, selling butterscotch confetti squares with chow mein noodles, rice crispy squares, and puffed wheat squares. People can also order shirts there, too, if they want.
“I’ve also been asking local businesses if they want to make any donations, and some have, which is really nice. If we don’t quite get the $30,000 we are still going to Peru. But if we can hit our goal, then we will be able to provide the best care with the best supplies to the people there.”
Anyone interested in making donations can contact Haruna Meguro at any time by email ([email protected]) and by text or phone at 780-517-7362.