We just finished our third day in Cacaopera. Many patients have traveled for miles to visit us for treatment. There have been numerous LEEP's and cryo's which have enabled our doctors to train the local medical team. The trainees need to observe many cases of diseased tissue in order to recognize it in their practices.
The local public health employees have done a great job to improve the health of their communities. One group arrived today with their doctor, their nurse practitioner, and their psychologist! The doctor, like many here in El Salvador, was trained in Cuba.
Yesterday, we had a patient who had been deported from the US. She preferred to speak in English, and overflowed with stories of her troubled life and the difficult living conditions in El Salvador. The young woman seems to have no place in this world. She has no documents for the US, and none which allow her to work in El Salvador. This lost soul spent time talking with us while waiting for her cryotherapy. She seemed grateful to have someone listen to her.
Today, the services of the PINCC support team, i.e. non-medical volunteers, expanded to include child care. One young mom came with her 2 year old who sobbed pitifully during her exam in the ante-room. His body was tense with fear, and nothing could soothe him. He finally calmed down when his mother rejoined him after her exam. But his young mother was very nervous at the prospect of the cryo treatment that the doctors had recommended. Another PINCC volunteer supported the mother until her turn for treatment came. During her cryotherapy, the little boy sat quietly in the waiting room watching the scene. People delivered lunches in huge baskets. Stray dogs smelled the food and roamed the hall until shooed away. Doctors and nurses rushed to treatment rooms discussing their cases. Patients chatted while waiting their turns. Most entertaining were the young children who drew with the colored pencils that one of the PINCC volunteers had brought. Sitting next to my young charge, I also enjoyed the bustle of the clinic at midday.