DAY 2: Promotoras Poderosas
Today we visited one of the mobile clinics on the outskirts of Lima and I really enjoyed my time interviewing the promoters. Seeing first-hand how passionate they are about their mission to reduce cancer mortality through education and empowerment in the rural communities was inspiring. All the promotors we met were excited to be interviewed, but we, unfortunately, only had time to sit with a few. I am so excited about the recorded interview with the second promotor I interviewed today. She was a spunky older woman with white hair and a calming voice. When asked about the barriers to care that the majority of the women she interacts with face, she immediately began to list them off with confidence and I could feel the injustice she sees daily in the way she spoke. She shared that many women work to support their families and that it is financially hard to miss work to come for a checkup/screening visit. Many women also fear positive results and think it better to not go to the doctor at all than to deal with a cancer diagnosis. The additional barrier she listed was the issue of distance needed to travel to seek treatment. We experienced this barrier today during our traffic-filled travels to the mobile clinic. Even in a private bus, it took us over 1.5 hours of travel. On public transportation, a woman might need to take 3 separate buses just to arrive at a clinic in the center of Lima and this would take her up to 3 hours. When you add the cost, the heat, and the loss of an entire day of work, it completely manifests the need for cervical cancer screening and treatment options to come to them.