Peru: Disaster Preparedness

Key Details:

Location: Lima, Peru

Audience: Undergraduate, Medical

Term and Duration:  19X, 10 weeks

Deadline to Apply: March 29, 2019, 5:00 pm

Organization Description:

Peru is a region of major seismic activity, with as many as 200 minor earthquakes occurring on average each year. There have been more than 70 significant earthquakes in Peru since 1568 that have resulted in thousands of casualties.  The City of Lima and its large population is vulnerable to these quakes, and in fact was virtually leveled in 1746.  Houses with adobe or mud walls are particularly vulnerable to earthquake damage; many such houses still exist in Peru, especially in poorer neighborhoods. The high probability and consequence of earthquake damage makes disaster preparedness an especially great priority for the health sector.

The Hospital Nacional Cayetano Heredia is leading preparedness efforts in the community of Cayetano, a dense urban area in Northern Lima.  Under the leadership of Dr. Raul Acosta, Director of Emergency Preparedness Planning, the hospital is to reduce the impact of a natural disaster and improve emergency response in the community of more than one million inhabitants. Dartmouth has worked in partnership with the hospital to support preparedness efforts for several years. Past intern projects have focused on conducting community needs assessments, building mHealth applications for disaster response, and developing community resiliency plans. 

Program Features and Opportunities:

Dartmouth’s Global Health Initiative (GHI) interns work with local stakeholders to improve emergency preparedness and response systems in Lima and its surrounding areas.  Past projects have include a study of healthcare provider willingness to respond in the event of a natural disaster, assessment of community preparedness, and development of mHealth applications for use in disaster management. In Summer 2019, GHI Interns will work with communities in northern Lima to develop community preparedness plans. As part of this work, interns will collaborate with the Lima’s Disaster Risk Management Department and other local partners, including the district Mayor’s Office, Civil Defense, Rotary International, the Peruvian Ministry of Health, and local school networks. 


This opportunity is open to upper-class undergraduates and medical students with an interest in disaster preparedness and response, emergency medicine, and community health. Spanish proficiency is required for this internship. Chosen students should have a high level of initiative, the ability to work with multiple stakeholders in a cross-cultural environment, an understanding of the basic priniples of emergency preparedness and response. Preference will be given to candidates who have completed at least one introductory course in global health and who bring experience working in a community setting. 

Application Process:

Students interested in undertaking an internship must submit a Global Health Initiative Internship Program Application. Candidates may preference up to three internship sites during a single application cycle and are required to answer a short supplemental question for each site. Candidates are required to submit transcripts and one to two letters of recommendation at the time of application. All applications are due on March  29, 2019 at 5:00 pm. 

Please direct questions about the program to Anne Sosin, Global Health Initiative Program Director. 



Friday, February 15, 2019 - 5:00pm
Fund type: 
The John Sloan Dickey Center