ABOUT THE SITE
The study communities are located in a rural area 15 km from the regional center of Iquitos, Peru. The population is sustained by fishing, agriculture, and harvesting of palm and wood products from nearby forested areas. The mean per capita income is less than a dollar per day. Chronic malnutrition is common in the study area and throughout the region of Loreto, which has lagged behind other areas of Peru in economic development. The community suffers high rates of diarrheal illness and enteric infection despite the use of an improved water source by a great majority of the population, high rates of measles vaccine coverage, and high levels of maternal education.
The Satellite Laboratory IQTLAB was established in 2002 in the city of Iquitos Peru by Dr. Robert Gilman, Dr. Margaret Kosek, and Pablo Peñataro Yori, RN, MPH. The mission of IQTLAB is to improve the understanding of common health problems in vulnerable populations in order to identify sustainable solutions that improve the health and the social and economic conditions of the study and other similar populations.
The IQTLAB team consists of experts from Asociación Benéfica PRISMA and the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health. The IQTLAB team has knowledge and capacity in the areas of the epidemiology of tropical diseases, longitudinal surveillance of infectious diseases, undernutrition, intestinal infections, biostatistics, demography, ecology, and spatial data collection and analysis.
The laboratory in Iquitos is approximately 4000 sq feet and equipped for microbiologic, immunologic, and PCR based diagnostics. In addition to the laboratory, IQTLAB supports GPS/GIS data collection, demographic surveys, satellite image processing, and strategic deployment of weather monitoring systems.
MAP OF LOCATION
Iquitos, the logistic base for the study site, is a port city and the capital of the department of Loreto, isolated from other major Peruvian cities and can only be reached by river. The closest one can get to Iquitos by road is Yurimaguas or Pucallpa.