Field Placement: Women’s
International Network for Guatemalan Solutions (WINGS)
Location: Antigua, Guatemala
Preceptor: Meira Neggaz, WINGS Program Director
Student Name: Cara Mae Wooledge
International Network for Guatemalan Solutions (WINGS) was founded
in 2001 by Sue Patterson and operates out of Antigua, Guatemala. WINGS is an
Non-governmental Organization registered in both the USA and Guatemala. Its
mission is to increase access to contraception and reproductive health care
by addressing common obstacles such as geographic isolation, lack of financial
resources and education, and cultural barriers. To achieve this goal, WINGS
works closely with Guatemalan Non-Governmental Organizations, such as APROFAM
(Pro-Family Association) and government health centers, reaching out to rural
communities, subsidizing the cost of family planning methods, providing cervical
cancer screening for the poorest Guatemalans, and offering seminars on reproductive
health to rural poor Guatemalans.
In Guatemala, cervical cancer is the first leading cause of cancer-related death among women of reproductive age and the second leading cause of cancer-related death among women of all ages. To address this problem, WINGS operates the Cervical Cancer Prevention Program series, which consists of a health education talk, Pap smear clinic, delivery of results and coordination of follow-up services. During the series, WINGS staff provides information on family planning methods and offers referrals for services. WINGS works with local organizations and individuals who help coordinate the series, which takes place on-site in the community. Loudres Tojín, the Cervical Cancer Prevention Program Coordinator, manages the programs’ operations and conducts health education talks. Carmen Ordóñdez is the Field Nurse that conducts Pap smear clinics.
Program Director, Meira Neggaz, created a Summer 2005 intern position to write a manual formalizing program protocol, educational materials, and develop an evaluation system. From July through September 2005, I worked closely with WINGS staff to design educational materials for the health education talks, including a flip chart and trifolds, and to establish a program implementation plan. Further, I had the opportunity to conduct on-site field observations of the Pap smear clinics. I collaborated with Meira to develop evaluation methods, including staff performance, tracking patients throughout the program, and pre-/post-tests for health education talks. From this point on, WINGS staff will use the Cervical Cancer Prevention Program Manual and all accompanying forms as a guide to daily operations and in future program and funding development.
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