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Day 21: June 6th, 2016 - End of CHW Pilot

Day 21: June 6th, 2016 - End of CHW Pilot

Woke up, went on a run, went to Maria Eugenia’s house to start the last of the CHW workshops. Today we covered first aid and since it was the first time I ran the workshop by myself I got to see how fun it was to actually talk to the ladies and how needed quechua actually was. After today I felt extremely motivated to learn quechua but of course I won’t this summer. But maybe someday -- definitely will if Akshay finishes writing his book on it. I guess I’ll just go through the things we covered and mention some interesting facts about it.


How to cure: 30 pulses on stomach and 2 breaths in the mouth.

Interesting: Many of the kids choke on marbles, almost all of the ladies said their kids had choked on marbles. When I asked how they fixed this they said that they would hit the kids on the back and that sometimes that wouldn’t help it go up but rather force it further down so it could pass through their feces. They would then sift through their feces for a week ensuring that it passed.


How to cure: clean food and ORT, they knew all about this thanks to Akshay’s previous water and sanitation workshop.

Interesting: Lots of weird remedies. For example: boil the peel of a banana, wash rice with water and then boil that water and drink it, coca cola with oatmeal, boil the seed of an avocado. Most of these (except the coca cola) involve drinking some sort of water so I’m assuming that’s why it worked. But it’s definitely always interesting to hear about these home remedies, alternative medicine is a pretty strong interest of mine.


They asked what to do about this and why it’s caused. Seems like a strong issue. Interesting belief that it was contagious -- the women debated whether or not this was true for around 5 minutes. The subject of anemia also came up and Monica saved the day by telling everyone to go buy iron pills because they were cheap.


Didn’t cover this but it did come up. Emiliana has Chagas and got treatment for it for 5 years, her daughter had it as well but her son did not. Severina stated that she also has Chagas but that every time she went to get treatment they told her she had to lose weight --which she cannot do-- so she gave up and just lives with Chagas.

Would be interesting to look more into chagas in the future since so many of the women had experiences with it. In general Chagas is a disease that happens in tropical places, it is usually not born and bred in the dry,arid zones in which people live here.


Again didn’t cover but it came up because they get checked for it when they are pregnant.


How to treat: with clean water and a rag. Easy.

Interesting: Doctors don’t cure you when you have burns….


How to treat: Rest and mate of everything that’s not coca.

Interesting: They didn’t know coca had caffeine, which makes sense.


Treatment: rest and fluids

Interesting: They knew you had to drink fruit juice and eat veggies.

Then I gave them their first aid kits and pads -- they seemed happy with this so we took a picture. It was sad saying goodbye to the ladies but overall I think we did a good job.

Then I talked to Maria Eugenia a bit about the possibility of opening a clinic staffed by medical students on the weekends. She seemed reserved but receptive. I’m sure they get a lot of promises and not a lot of deliveries so let’s hope we can deliver.

Then I went home and did some MCAT studying. Rodrigo swung by later to take me to eat churros with 2 of his friends, we also stopped by a random bar where the waiter forced us to drink sangria while we watched the Bolivia vs Panama soccer game. Surprising less people than you would imagine for one of the few high caliber soccer games this nation sees. It was still fun though, I’ll really miss this place and everyone in it that has been so nice to me. But that sappy post is still 3 days away.

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