February 16, 2012

Paps, Parasites, and Palpitations (Oh My!)

Hola from Las Delicias, El Salvador!

We've been working with Morena, Doctora Blanca, Marloes, and the visiting Cardiologist on a number of community health projects over the past week, so here you go!

Anti-Parasite Campaign & Community Outreach

One of our goals last week was getting the word out about hand hygiene and parasite prevention with two of our most vulnerable groups in Las Delicias-- children and elders.  Fortunately, we took advantage of some excellent forums to reach out: the senior lunch program and the day care for working mothers.  We led interactive discussion about symptoms and preventive measures to decrease one's risk of getting parasites.  Typically, both seniors and children also receive anti-parasitic prophylaxis twice a year as extra insurance.

Steve, Mike, and Julie talking parasites with the schoolchildren

Julie & Mike chatting with the elders about hand hygiene and handing out soap

Mike, Julie,and Steve with happy children at the guarder√≠a (day care) who received antibacterial spray
(courtesy of Midland!) 

In between our busy campaign work, we ran around the different sectors with Morena where her work never ends.  Prenatal checks, postpartum follow-up, hospice visits, contraceptive injections, and other home care are all in a day's work.

Steve, Mike, and Morena providing wound care for a homebound senior.

Pap Smear Campaign

A big goal of ours is to demystify la c√≠tologia (Pap smears) through a two-day campaign providing pap smears in the clinic and community.  Through charlas (workshops) and honest dialogue, we seek to empower local women of all ages with information so that they shed fears about undergoing this sensitive exam.  It was really inspirational to have these women open up to us about their concerns, share the cultural obstacles associated with this public health issue, and confront their fears.

Cardiology Teaching

During our time at the Unidad de Salud mentioned in the previous post, we had the opportunity to work closely with Dr. Raab, the visiting cardiologist for FIMRC El Salvador. Between patients, a person amongst us who wishes to remain nameless served as the guinea pig for an EKG workshop.  Good news-- he does have a heart.  :)

Dr. Raab, Mike, and *patient* talking shop in impromptu Cardio Rounds

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