Saturday, September 28, 2013

Women's Health

Sisters from the Church in Xejox--about 3 hours from Clinica Caris 
It's a beautiful sunny morning and has been pretty dry the last few days.  Our road situation is still not great but at least the mud is less.  Today Kemmel is driving us (Lisa, Sara and our scholarship medical student Nidian Patricia) head to Salama', Baja Vera Paz to attend a week-long training on cervical cancer screening using appropriate technology--vinegar solution and a bright lamp.  This is called Visual Inspection with Acetic acid (VIA) and is at least as sensitive as a Pap smear, but gives immediate results and has no additional lab costs--perfect for Guatemala's rural poor. Although we have been offering Pap smears for years, we are not reaching as many women as we could, due to lab cost ($4) and transportation cost to come to clinic ($2-5)--about a day's wage.  So if we can take this screening to the communities where the women live we offer a valuable service.  Sheri had a class for two women's groups already talking about the importance of cervical cancer screening and she reports having a great deal of dialog and interest from the ladies. 

The VIA course is being offered by Faith in Practice, a non-profit organization here in Guatemala.  Many thanks to them for sharing this with others!  We hope to take advantage of our all-female provider team to help improve the health and lives of women in our area.

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