AWHS Clinic Spotlight: The Vine Trust

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  • July 30, 2013

The Vine Trust is an international non-profit volunteering charity that provides a healthcare service for over 100,000 patients annually in Peru through two medical ships that operate along the Amazon River.

AmazonHope21Big problems often require innovative answers and AWHS tries to seek out empowered groups trying out creative solutions in global care. One of AWHS’ supported clinics, The Vine Trust, is a wonderful example of this. Their small volunteer-run community group first started out by noticing how remote river communities in Peru were not receiving medical services due to lack of access and lack of transit. In 2001, they launched an appeal for an innovative solution— a medical ship to sail up and down the river providing clinical care and preventative services.

In 2003, the Amazon Hope—a former navy ship which they re-outfitted to serve as a primary care clinic and with a functional operating room, pharmacy, treatment rooms and waiting deck—traveled with its first medical team from the UK. The boat works along the tributaries of the Amazon River providing medical, dental and preventative services. High demand for services in 2005, led the Vine Trust to launch a sister boat. Together they now service over 100,000 people a year.

The boats make routine community visits on the Tigre, Nanay, Ampiyacu and other rivers in order to address chronic diseases like asthma, diabetes, and dental care. They also host visiting medical teams in order to perform short term specialist trips. For example, one of their specialist eye trips restored eye sight to 53 people in one week.

In addition to medical boats, the Vine Trust works in Peru with 8 children’s centers in order to provide shelter and security for children on the streets, who are often orphaned. In 2010, the program expanded to also include the Moshi area of Tanzania which works with children orphaned due to parental death from HIV/AIDS, TB, and malaria. The program builds village homes, constructed a school, and also works with the city orphanage.

Today, the Vine Trust is hoping to adapt their riverboat concept from Peru to the communities in Tanzania. In Lake Victoria, the group has identified over 150 island communities with an estimated 500,000 people without access to healthcare. They have outfitted a 3rd ship, which they named Jubilee, which is en route to be stationed in the lake in order to build a primary healthcare service in the region.

Please join AWHS in helping to maintain our support for the progress of this innovative program and others like it.   You can donate online  or donate by mail by sending a check (payable to AMWA – AWHS) to

12100 Sunset Hills Road Suite 130 Reston, Virginia  20190

To help by joining the AWHS committee or for more information please email us at associatedirector@amwa-doc.org

You can also visit our Facebook Page to learn more about other AWHS-supported programs.

AMWA Admin

AMWA Admin

The American Medical Women's Association is an organization which functions at the local, national, and international level to advance women in medicine and improve women's health. We achieve this by providing and developing leadership, advocacy, education, expertise, mentoring, and strategic alliances.

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