The next morning was not the smoothest of mornings. I accidentally overslept. One of the presenters woke up sick and was not able to come. I ended up taking on her portion, which I reviewed in the van on the way there. We scrambled into the van with only one laptop, and as it turned out, it was not the laptop with the presentation on it. The driver did not know we were supposed to pick up Dr. Peña. Luckily, we figured that out before we wasted too much time. When we picked up Dr. Peña, I informed the driver that we needed to go back to the hostel to get the other computer. Somehow along the way he forgot that we needed to do that and we were almost all the way out of Leon by the time I realized what was going on. Fifteen minutes later, we were finally on our way to El Sauce with all necessary people and tools in the van. Phew!
We arrived at Hotel Blanco and hour before the presentation was to begin. We were informed that due to a city-wide power outage, there was no electricity anywhere in the town except for those places that had generators. I thought to myself - OK, so we're going to do a presentation with no projector and no fans......uh oh. Luckily for us, Hotel Blanco had a generator and they said that they would provide power for our presentation. Phew! (again)
The presentation was scheduled for 10AM and much to my surprise some people actually arrived at 10. Paola, from the health center, invited nurses and doctors from the clinic, the vector-control workers, and local health department staff. Our guides showed up proudly sporting their UNC garb that we gave them at the 'fiesta de despedida'. About 20 people attended and the presentation began at 10:15. Dr. Peña opened with a brief introduction and a few words about the continuing collaboration between UNC, UNAN, and the health center in El Sauce. We presented preliminary statistics on the demographic information of the survey population, perinatal care, STI prevention methods and knowledge, diarrhea, social networks, and unintentional childhood injury. We presented the information mainly in bullet points and tables, but we were also able to include maps of the spatial distribution of the data. I thought the presentation went really well, and I was very proud of our group for pulling something together so quickly and for being able to competently present our findings in Spanish in front of a large group.
Attendees had the opportunity to ask questions and make comments at the end of the presentation. The health center is collecting some of the data we collected as well, and it was interesting to talk about the differences in what they have found and what we found. For example, we found that about 75% of women had had a Pap smear, but Paola thought that number was too low. We promised to do further analysis to see if there are certain areas where the uptake of Pap tests is particularly low. This information will help the health center target its outreach programs to the health issues of specific communities. The attendees were also interested in the process and software we used to create the maps of health data. Data mapping technology would be useful for monitoring outbreaks of vector-borne diseases in the El Sauce municipality. Dr. Peña explained that it was a matter of linking GPS points to data in Excel using a specific kind of software, and he said that UNAN/CIDS would help the health center work on their mapping activities. Another attendee (a nurse) suggested that we add questions about HIV testing to the survey for next year.
We received all positive feedback and the health center staff told us that they were grateful for our work. We promised to send them a full write-up of our findings after we have a chance to thoroughly review and validate the data.
I took one last trip to the health center to take pictures of the health posters they have on many of the walls. I said my final goodbyes to Paola and Dra. Velazquez who told me that they look forward to working with the UNC-UNAN partnership in the future.
|Paola and Dra. Velazquez|
|That's me, presenting|
|Question and answer session|
|Dr. Peña - opening remarks|