Today we visited a health outpost that is a part of the MINSA system and spoke to a midwife there who was very excited about the potential of the Pocket Colposcope. We learned that she currently uses her cell phone to assist her with VIA, showing the patients the images to motivate them to go to their referral appointments, and also sending the image to expert gynecologists to get additional opinions. She envisioned the Pocket making these processes much easier and liked the thought of not having to use her cell phone. As a midwife, she said that she doesn't necessarily see her role as that of being someone who treats cervical cancer. She instead suggested that her job is to identify suspicious cases and refer women to clinics with physicians so that they can receive treatment there.
On a tangentially related note, we randomly got lucky and drove by a La Liga mobile clinic while leaving this health outpost. We were all SHOCKED because the mobile clinic was parked probably about 3 blocks from the health outpost. We had previously assumed that the mobile clinics were intentionally stationed in areas that lacked nearby health outposts or clinics, but based off of this discovery, we see that this isn't the case. Importantly, despite the close proximity of these two facilities, we learned through interviews that the patient loads are vastly different. While the La Liga mobile clinic does about 33 VIAs per day, the nearby health post does about 1-2 VIAs per day. We believe this demonstrates how crucial the patient outreach component of La Liga is, and today we were all blown away by the comparison we could make between the two facilities which were SO close together. This was a reminder that the Pocket Colposcope is not the only factor which can help us achieve our end goal of saving womens' lives, as the people who work in these organizations and the ways that they cater to patients are equally important parts of the process.