I arrived in the PROSOI customs office not expecting any good news. An official from the Health Ministry is obstructing the release of a donated ultrasound machine from Australia. Meanwhile, the donated trucks for the hospital are also sitting a holding warehouse at the Port, awaiting the arrival of missing documentation from Germany. Additionally, the 14th shipping container is scheduled to reach the Port of Callao within 2 days.
Some medicines in the container must be submitted for a physical inspection, meaning that all 152 boxes inside the container have to be removed. Added to this, in order to gain permission for the release of the container, the 50 new telephones require a document from overseas as do the 2 new freezers.
Despite making several phone calls, no good news is offered. Therefore I must begin the usual trekking all over Lima to visit various offices. The rising heat forces me to remove my tie, but I cannot take off my suit coat when visiting the offices of the authorities.
Finally, a breakthrough is made! At 4:30 in the afternoon I am given the opportunity to tell the story of Diospi Suyana to the manager of the Peruvian Medicine Authority “DIGEMID”. After the 40 minute presentation he agrees to look for a solution to the importation problems for our donated medicines.
The, at 6:00 in the evening I meet the director of another office which is responsible for equipping and controlling all Peruvian hospitals. This man hopes to help us in the release of the ultrasound machine.
At last I can take a deep breath and give thanks to God for the positive outcomes of the day.