CCC Clinic Day in Coban

CCC Clinic Day in Coban

This is Rick Siedband. At home, I’m a financial advisor, but I’m spending this week volunteering with the CCC team in Guatamala.
Today was our third day here and second day in clinic. We started our work on Monday in Coban with a full day training session. The CCC model is very well thought and practical: we spent the first day training a group of nurses (and one financial advisor from Minneapolis…) on the “See and Treat” technique for diagnosing and treating precancerous cervical lesions. Then the team of nurses travels with our crew to several sites where they get experience doing the procedure – guided by our team of experienced practitioners. This is a great example of creating sustainability.  After we leave, the local team continues to treat women, reporting their results to CCC and continuing to get guidance and support. The result is that the small traveling CCC team has a big and lasting impact!
When we arrived at clinic this morning, there were already over a hundred women waiting for us!  We went to work setting up registration and five screening/treatment stations and, within a short time, began seeing patients. I’m amazed at how well the team works together – it’s clear that they’ve done this all before (except me).
I should explain that I have some medical training as an EMT and I’ve done triage and emergency work in Haiti. That’s very intense work with people in crisis. Lots of drama and plenty of bad outcomes… But This work is so positive and life affirming. We saw 140 women today and did cryotherapy procedures for 36 of them. That’s 36 women whose precancerous lesions will not develop into life threatening cancer. As I looked out at our patients today, I couldn’t stop thinking about that.
And I’m touched by how gentle and patient the women are here as they wait to be treated. Most are wearing beautiful embroidered skirts and shirts and some have their little children with them. Of course, lots of photo ops with the kids!
This has really been an amazing few days in Guatemala. The work continues tomorrow as we head into a remote area where we understand about two hundred women will be waiting for evaluation and treatment.
A special “shout out” to my CCC team colleagues for patiently training a newbie – enabling me to impact women’s lives here in Guatemala.