Greetings from Trujillo, Peru

Last evening we left RDU, and flew overnight to Lima, Peru, via Miami.

This is another in a series of trips I have taken in support of UNC's global health work. In 2007, I went to South Africa and Malawi. And in 2008, I took separate trips to Nicaragua and to China.

This year's trip is to Peru, with Dr. Luis Diaz, the chair of dermatology at UNC, who is from Trujillo, Peru, and with Dr. Doug Morgan, a UNC gastroenterologist, who has spent years researching GI cancers in Latin America.

Dr. Roper with students in Trujillo, Peru

Today we saw a bit of Lima, including a magnificent museum of Peruvian artifacts both pre-Columbian and post-Columbian. Several of the beautiful items we saw have been featured in an article in National Geographic.

Late this afternoon we flew to Trujillo, a city of about two million in the north of Peru. We were greeted at the airport by a very enthusiastic crowd of medical students, from UNT, the National University of Trujillo. Dr. Diaz has managed bi-directional exchanges of medical students and faculty from UNT and UNC for many years.

Tomorrow I am to meet with the dean of the UNT School of Medicine and see their teaching hospital. I am to give a talk on how we at UNC are preparing for influenza H1N1, which is a major topic of interest here. Doug Morgan is also giving a talk about his work in GI cancer.

As was the case in the trips in 2007 and 2008, my son Will Roper is with me. He is going to visit a rural health clinic tomorrow, and also will see several units at the teaching hospital.

This visit promises to be very worthwhile and surely memorable. It again highlights the value of UNC's focus on global health it enables us to do collaborative work that is valuable both to the citizens of other nations and to the people of North Carolina.

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