Our goal is to establish an innovative, world-class GEOHealth Hub in the Alto Mayo region of Northern Peru, a heavily deforested jungle region poised on the eastern edge of the Andes that exemplifies the dynamic and dangerous interface formed between remote traditional villages and emerging agricultural and population centers. New and old environmental issues are compounded in such regions, and the populace is not yet cognizant of the risks;lessons learned in the Alto Mayo will be readily extrapolated to similar interface situations in Peru and around the globe. Multiple environmental health risks of staggering magnitude are apparent there, but have received little objective scrutiny. Strong local traditional medicine remains pervasive, dating back millennia;modern medical care is developing. Infant and maternal mortality are alarmingly high. Through international collaboration, a GEOHealth Hub in this region would provide critical support needed by Peruvian health authorities to develop well-targeted, effective public health policies and educational strategies to address bona fide, quantified environmental/occupational health risks. We will build upon an on-going, uniquely advantageous partnership that has developed between the Peruvian Institute Nacional de Salud, the Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW) Division of Pediatric Pathology, the Milwaukee-based NIH/NIEHS-sponsored Children's Environmental Health Science Core Center (CEHSCC), the Yantalo Peru Foundation, and most recently the Oregon State University Superfund Research Program. Inherent strengths of this multidisciplinary group are magnified by new availability of a sophisticated clinical and scientific facility in Yantalo, Peru, located i the heart of the Alto Mayo, designed and operated by partnership members. Our research will focus on indoor/outdoor air quality, water/soil quality, and quality and safety of traditional medicinal plant preparations. Although health concerns of the broad populace will be addressed, the critical problems of infant/maternal mortality will be emphasized.
Through international collaboration, this partnership will identify needs and opportunities in environmental health in the remote, but heavily deforested Alto Mayo rainforest of Northern Peru. Perceived environmental hazards in this region are staggering, but poorly understood. Through innovative pilot studies and thoughtful planning for future studies and educational approaches we will help alleviate this alarming situation.