We began our first day at La Liga by meeting with Dr. Jerónimo, the clinic manager, two midwives, and two administrators. This meeting went incredibly well and it was exciting to visibly see everyone in the room so interested in the Pocket Colposcope. After we explained our goals, demonstrated the device, and went through our surveys, the people at La Liga started brainstorming some fantastic ideas for how the care paradigm could be adjusted to accommodate and leverage the Pocket. One of these ideas in particular struck me as having great potential to be successful, and I'm determined to gather more thoughts on this idea throughout the remainder of this week. Her idea was to have a physician conduct follow up visits in the remote areas that the mobile clinics had just visited and treat the women who had recently tested positive on the Pocket. When the mobile clinics travel to remote areas, they stay in each location for a week and perform screenings there. At the end of this week, the physician could visit and consult with only the patients who tested positive on the Pocket. This reduces or eliminates two main factors which were presented today as barriers to patient follow up from the mobile clinics: the time/distance required for a patient to travel to referral clinics and the time delay between screening and notification. This proposition got me really excited, and throughout the rest of the trip I'm intent on continuing to pursue this idea and seeing what the perceptions are about having a physician travel like this. The point was also raised that this could potentially be a solution to the political quarrels over whether midwives or physicians can use the Pocket.
After that meeting in the morning, Claire and I managed to conduct 10 patient surveys and 2 patient interviews. We gathered important information, heard some great testimonials, and locked down the process for how we can go about interviewing people for the rest of the trip. We've got a good system going and the women seemed really eager to participate. One woman even told us "We need more people like you helping us do this research in Peru, I'm so glad you're here." That was really nice to hear. We're feeling well-prepared for our day tomorrow at the mobile clinics where we can talk to even more patients in addition to other stakeholders. Here's Claire and I in our private office/nook at La Liga where we conducted the interviews.