ARRIVAL IN INDIA: 02-03 January 2012
Our PINCC-India team of five departed from SFO new year's eve on time on an Emirates flight that is the longest non-stop flight coming out of San Francisco – nearly 16 hours! With suitable drug therapy we all got enough sleep to get off the plane in Dubai, walk around for an hour, and then board another three-hour flight to Bengaluru. For once, we actually arrived at our destination in India a few minutes early – unheard of in the annals of modern flight!
In the picture, from left to right, Janis Luft, Liz Armstrong, Joy Carlson and Rhoda Nussbaum, waiting for our car at Bengaluru Airport at 4:00 am Monday morning 02 January.
Our team consists of Dr. Rhoda Nussbaum, Medical Director, PINCC-India; Janis Luft, NP; Joy Carlson, and Liz Armstrong; and your trusty blogger and Administrative Director for PINCC-India, John Adams.
Our regular driver, Mr. Khan, met us at the airport and drove us safely to Mysore, where we arrived at 7:00 am on 02 January, and checked into our regular hotel. For Rhoda and me it is always like coming home! We spent the morning going to the bank to exchange money, shopping for room necessities, and getting our telephone SIM card charged up. We spent the afternoon at PHRII coordinating the week.
On Tuesday we had a wonderful meeting at the government hospital, where we worked during our second visit to Mysore, with the Radiation Oncology doctors, who are most interested in learning VIA and setting up clinics to screen for and prevent cervical cancer in the villages. They both declared they'd come to see our clinic set up on Wednesday to get an idea of what it takes. We may well be doing further PINCC camps in Mysore with new populations of doctors!
Next we went to the JSS Medical College and got a tour. During our July 2012 visit, the JSS Swamiji (Holy Man) blessed our project and invited us to make JSS hospital our home. When we were introduced to the JSS Medical College Principal, he told us that the Swamiji had spoken highly of our project. He invited us to submit a proposal for incorporating VIA, Cryo and LEEP training into their medical school curriculum. If it is successful, they would advocate to the National Medical Council, which controls all medical school curricula, to add VIA, Cryo and LEEP to all gynecology programs across the country. We continue to dream big and find progress!
Tomorrow we stat our fourth PINCC clinic hosted by The Public Health Research Institute of India and held at St. Joseph's Hospital (JSS not being available at the last second due to a government mandated national polio program – if only they'd take HPV as seriously as polio!).