For the first time in their lives, women in the villages will receive testing for breast and cervical cancer. Our goals for this program will be:
Pap smear testing
Availability of birth control and family planning
Education about women's health, diseases and aging
Education about domestic violence
Sex education for teenagers
Followup with women who have positive tests
In essence what we will be providing with this project is to go “to” the women in the villages, perform the exam, obtain specimens, do paperwork, then allow government clinics to process specimens and record results of exams in their records. This not only helps with sustainability of program, it also assures that the government will pay if there is further follow-up needed on positive tests. Because of this, we can only do pap smears on women who are signed up on SIS, the government insurance for the poor.
Our first trip was April 2011 with an “all-women” volunteer group (Renzo good naturedly permitted us to call it that). We collected 27 specimens, some women opting not to have test done, but did agree to breast exam. We invited a local obstetriz Silvia Shupingahua (Nurse Midwife – 5 years at university) to accompany us from the government clinic in Mazan. She very ably guided us through the understanding of proper paperwork needed for the government.
Our follow-up with the women is on our subsequent trips when we return to the clinic in Mazan and then to jungle. The results of the tests are completed in Iquitos in 5-6 weeks. Part of this project will also be to determine how testing and communication flows, and what can really be expected in the government system of healthcare.
October 2012 Women´s Project trip #3