Field Supervisor Celeste explaining WINGS services
At the end of November, WINGS held a jornada or clinic day in the community of Santo Domingo Xenacoj in the department of Chimaltenango, about an hour away from our Antigua headquarters. In most jornadas where we provide Long-Acting Reversible Contraception (LARCs), we also offer cervical cancer screening using visual inspection with acetic acid for immediate detection of cervical cell abnormalities and same-day treatment using cryotherapy for pre-cancerous cells that may lead to cervical cancer. For these jornadas, we travel hours each day to get to hard-to-reach rural villages with an entire mobile unit team, consisting of a driver, two nurses, and equipment to serve up to 150 women per week.
In small communities, where our staff anticipates fewer patients, we usually schedule what we call a mini-jornada – a clinic with two WINGS nurses who pack all the necessary equipment in backpacks and travel to the (easier-to-reach) village, usually by bus, expecting to serve no more than 10 women, and without the extra weight of the cryotherapy equipment. In Santo Domingo Xenacoj though, our two nurses Carolina and Nely met with 23 women!
In addition to the subdermal implants and IUDs that were provided that day, we screened 10 women for cervical cancer, 3 of whom we needed to refer for cryotherapy in our clinic a few days later. Nurse Carolina remarked how much it meant to her to be able to provide this life-saving procedure to the three women, none of whom had ever had a cervical cancer screening before.
It is with your support that WINGS continues to be able to offer cervical cancer screening to women who might otherwise have limited or no access to such an important test. We are so very grateful to you!