On the boring details.
Tomorrow morning I will fly to Miami, then on to Tegucigalpa, Honduras. From there, a bus will take us south to Choluteca, then another east to El Corpus. The roads will be windy and bumpy, it will be 100 degrees or hotter, and I’ll probably have a chicken or someone’s baby in my lap.
I’m working with a project called the Honduran Health Alliance (HHA). HHA’s mission is:
“To collaborate with local communities in order to provide annual cervical cancer screenings, give health education charlas, and provide family planning resources.”
In summer 2011, our group (consisting of myself and a number of UNC medical students and attendings) will travel to small villages throughout southern Honduras where the extent of the existing healthcare system is lay health advisers and nurses with minimal training. We’ll provide health education workshops, cervical cancer screenings (pap smears), and family planning services.
This week’s goals are three-fold:
- To coordinate logistics for the summer and meet with the local health promoters to determine a strategy the summer’s project. I respect this program because of it’s community-driven nature, and these meetings will be crucial to ensure that our project is meeting community needs and not our own agenda.
- To conduct qualitative research for my colleague’s master’s paper. She is attempting to answer the question, “how can we increase access to HHA’s services to more at-risk women?” We will conduct focus groups and in-depth interviews with health promoters, women who have attended clinic, and women who have not, in order to determine barriers and determine the way forward that will expand our services to the women who need it most.
- To hang out. To become familiar. To soak it in. It can be tough to enter into a new community and build relationships and trust in a limited amount of time. By traveling this week with someone who has worked in these communities before, I hope to connect and make some headway on that front before jumping in next June.
And now, to sleep. See you in Honduras!