Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Salvadoran doctors training Salvadoran doctors and nurses

By Larry Shushan, PINCC volunteer

SAN SALVADOR -- Today in San Salvador, we saw the tangible results of PINCC's sustainability-centric focus: after years of partnership with the national health infrastructure in this small Central American country, the training and certification of local doctors is going beyond merely enabling them to perform cervical cancer screening and treatment on their own. Now, Salvadoran doctors are doing the training, creating an incredible multiplier effect from PINCC's work here.

In this photo, doctors at the Zacamil clinic are training other doctors and nurses to recognize lesions on the cervix that become visible when vinegar is applied. Flashcards and discussion are used to prepare for actual visualization, followed by practice on patients. The experts -- already certified by PINCC -- supervise the work of those not yet certified.

At Zacamil, 140 women were seen in two days. Several tested "positive" for pre-cancerous lesions, then treated on the spot with cryotherapy, a technique using a special tool that freezes the lesions, effectively destroying them. The single treatment has a 95 to 98 percent cure rate, essentially eliminating the risk of the deadly disease for the rest of a woman's life.

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