Lima, Peru: On October 14, 2008 an American couple brought a defibrillator for Hospital Diospi Suyana to Peru. It was a donation from “World Medical mission“. Although the Americans were carrying official documents regarding the donation, nevertheless the customs officials at the airport confiscated the machine. They pointed out that the documentation read “for Hospital Diospi Suyana”, whereas it should have said “for Asociacion Civil Religiosa Diospi Suyana”. For most of us it is a small distinction, but Peruvian bureaucracy works in an unique manner!
During the last 4 months there have been constant attempts to have the precious piece of equipment released. Last Thursday I presented the work of the hospital to Gisella Vega – the new director of Customs for Air Freight – asking once again for the immediate return of the defibrillator. Another week has passed by without action. The authorities insist that the machine must be inspected by an engineer from the Health Ministry. This means that the machine only needs to be unpacked and the serial number copied down. It doesn’t even required that the machine be checked for proper function. The problem is, that the inspection can’t be done because, in fact, no one knows exactly where the machine is!
Yesterday I sent yet another urgent email to the director of Customs for Air Freight. Copies of this letter were also sent to the First Lady of Peru, the Presidential Palace, several daily papers and 2 television channels. If there is no reaction from this, we will ask you to help us again. On May 30, 2008, we encountered a similar problem and with your help we were able to get the 16th shipping container released from Customs.
We will keep you up-to-date on this website. The defibrillator is urgently needed at the hospital.