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Jun 24, 2019

WINGS' STRATEGIC CERVICAL CANCER SCREENING

Regional Field Supervisor Josefina gives a talk
Regional Field Supervisor Josefina gives a talk

WINGS has provided 1,455 cervical cancer screenings from the beginning of this year through May. Our goal for 2019 is to provide a total of 2,000 screenings using visual inspection with acetic acid (VIA) for immediate detection of cervical cell abnormalities and same-day treatment using cryotherapy for pre-cancerous cells that may lead to cervical cancer. We’re already at 73% of our annual goal just 5 months in!

We’ve had success this year with a new strategy we are implementing. Instead of promoting our VIA service as part of every contraceptive clinic we host, we are now also offering large-scale VIA-only clinics on a regular basis. We’re seeing that women in some communities need cervical cancer screenings more often than contraceptives so by promoting days where we are only offering VIA screenings we can reach those women who need screenings but have their contraceptive needs met. Our nurses also see that many women who are not yet interested in a contraceptive method are interested in VIA and the screening gives us a way to gain their trust and begin a broader reproductive health conversation.

Time and again we hear of cases like a recent one from the nearby community of El Hato. A woman had been seen by another clinic and was told she needed a referral but didn´t understand and never received a follow-up call from her provider. A family member of hers reached out to WINGS via Facebook and we invited her to come in to our Antigua clinic to get screened again. She came in and we screened her and she did require a referral for further care. Because our staff is trained in rights-based, patient-centered care,we know that we need to spend extra time and provide adequate follow-up to patients, especially when their lives are at risk.

Your support means that we have the resources and highly-trained staff necessary to do this life-saving work. We appreciate your commitment to help us make a difference for so many women and their families. 

Mar 27, 2019

WINGS' 2018 SERVICE PROVISION RESULTS

WINGS Estimated Impact in 2018
WINGS Estimated Impact in 2018

2018 was a challenging year for Guatemala. Fuego Volcano forever changed the lives of thousands of families and the landscape near WINGS’ headquarters in Guatemala. Looking back, the months from June to October seem to have gone by in waves of emotions, ash-filled air, and an outpouring of generosity from around the world. While there was not a direct impact on the services we provide in other departments, our organization as a whole and Guatemala in general was deeply impacted by this tragedy. It brought our already close staff even closer together and revealed a strengthened commitment to serve vulnerable communities. WINGS raised over $78,000 to support the community’s response to the volcanic eruption.

Throughout the year, WINGS served a total of 23,171 individuals with contraceptive services and reproductive education. Our focus on rights-based, patient-centered care continued to guide every interaction and helped us build trust with our patients and community partners.

We formalized a partnership with Iniciativa Guatemala to provide oversight of a new Reproductive Health Project housed within their organization which is implemented in severely poverty-stricken, high-crime areas of Guatemala City. We provide capacity building training to key members of their staff and are replicating our youth program model at their school sites.

In November, our Executive Director Rodrigo Barillas and our field promotion supervisor Celeste Velásquez attended the 2018 International Conference on Family Planning in Kigali, Rwanda. Celeste was accepted as the only Guatemalan Youth Delegate representative and had the opportunity to present as part of a youth panel to international experts. WINGS’ work is being noticed on the international stage and we are so proud to share some highlights with you here.

Throughout 2018, WINGS delivered clinical reproductive health services through 2 mobile units, a network of more than 30 Volunteer Health Promoters, a stationary clinic in Antigua, and satellite clinics in Cobán and Sololá. Covering 11 departments (Guatemalan states), we attempt to fill in gaps in access to care, especially in hard-to-reach rural communities.

We are so very grateful for your continued support and partnership as we reach the unreachable with reproductive health education and services in Guatemala.

2018 WINGS Service Provision Results
2018 WINGS Service Provision Results
Mar 26, 2019

WINGS' 2018 CERVICAL CANCER SCREENING RESULTS

WINGS' 2018 CERVICAL CANCER SCREENING RESULTS
WINGS' 2018 CERVICAL CANCER SCREENING RESULTS

WINGS has provided 60,239 cervical cancer screenings since 2001. In 2018, we saw a 28% decrease in our cervical cancer screening service from 2017. This result was by design since we aimed for a decrease in the provision of both cervical cancer screenings and short-acting methods in response to both community needs and available funding. In the past, WINGS staff emphasized cervical cancer screenings in promotional talks and patient education. We saw large numbers of patients seeking us out exclusively for this screening to the point that it impeded our ability to attend those patients who needed contraceptives. Starting in 2017, we asked our staff to become more passive in their promotion of screening. Staff began educating patients who came for contraceptive methods about the benefits of cervical cancer screenings, but we did not publicly advertise this service. This shift in promotion of services combined with no longer organizing massive cervical cancer screening clinics with agricultural employers resulted in a decline in screenings provided.

Nearly a quarter of WINGS patients had their first cervical cancer screening with us last year and almost half saw us for a contraceptive method as well. WINGS offers cervical cancer screenings in all our clinics, either within our stationary clinic or our mobile unit clinics. We use visual inspection with acetic acid (VIA) for immediate detection of cervical cell abnormalities and same-day treatment using cryotherapy for pre-cancerous cells that may lead to cervical cancer.

A trend that our nurses have begun to see is that the health posts and other health facilities managed by the Guatemalan Ministry of Health are increasingly more likely to have both trained staff and sufficient inventory to meet the needs of communities. WINGS always tries to fill in any gaps left and work closely with local health officials to plan coverage of rural areas.

In 2019, we aim to provide 2,000 VIA screenings, knowing that many communities are being covered by governmental resources. WINGS will be available and prepared to fill in gaps as our field staff notices any unmet needs. This work would simply not be possible without your help. You are truly helping us to save lives. ¡Gracias!

 
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