METAD has a four year relationship through church associations of inspecting regional hospitals for a certification of equipment and supplies needed, as well as the possibly of starting a cervical cancer screening program. These inspections have brought us in contact with physicians caring for patients suffering from HPV in remote areas in Guatemala. (Note: We focus in areas where we have a church presence due to the need for accountability.) METAD, in partnership with US churches, has sent ocean freight containers of medical supplies and equipment to the hospitals and clinics. In turn, we return to inspect for compliance.
Guatemalan doctors in Zacapa will host and teach a seminar, along with our OB/GYN, Michael Watkins, M.D.; METAD will donate the equipment; and, the Hope of Life ministry in Zacapa will house the attending physicians. This seminar has been formed out of great need for the total program beginning with education, then pap tests, and then ongoing medical procedures as necessary for those women testing positive.
METAD has focused on serving the very “least of these.” In fact, without a doubt, the very least in Central America is the at-risk single mother. These women are at risk in every way: poor, uneducated, unemployable, a prostitute with children, living (sometimes) on the street. With the free hospital system in Central America there comes the advantage of free healthcare. However, this is only true if the hospital is well supplied and the equipment is available for testing and surgery.
Once the Pap test comes in as positive, the surgeries are done for free at a regional Hospital, where METAD has donated the equipment. The idea of the program is to use the education, tests, and equipment as an extension of the hand of Christ. It must be mercy motivated. In saying this, obviously, the program must be in the hands of someone with this heart. As the public hospitals see the most diseased women, they need the education and equipment. For the regional hospitals that our representative visits, it is impressed upon the administrators that there are requirements for more donations - and the responsibility for maintenance.
Results to Date
The Zacapa Regional Hospital has been a recipient of our LEEP machines and equipment donations after the tremendous need in their area was discovered. The Zacapa physicians had already used the LEEP machines required to do procedures. However, due to the high volume, they have worn out the coated instruments thus stopping those procedures.
METAD’s project is ongoing. We have one physician in La Libertad, Nicaragua Dra. Marina Lorio. She operates a clinic while sharing her time in six villages in the jungle and consults in two public hospitals. In addition, a clinic in the poorest barrio in Managua shares the equipment with House of Hope, also in Managua. Dra. Lorio sends regular reports - one every six months. METAD pays a monthly stipend for PAP tests and transportation for women to go to hospitals for procedures monitored by Dra. Lorio. Once the tests come in as positive, the surgeries can be done for free at the Ascension Regional Hospital, where METAD has donated equipment and supplies for fourteen years, and the women can be responded to in a timely manner. When we started our project, even if a PAP was done, the women died before the results were reported. With donations to both the hospitals and to clinics, we have been able to shine a light on the problem.
PAP tests are now reported quickly. The program in Nicaragua helped check and pap screened 2460 women in 2012. Of those screened, 152 had procedures done using the equipment donated to the regional hospital. In 2013 there were 2628 women checked and pap screened. Of those screened, 144 had procedures done in hospital. Over a period of 15 years, through our networking to accomplish a workable plan to teach, refresh training, and supply the equipment to physicians already working with women needing pre-screening, many lives have been saved.
Nature of Desired Relationship
We would welcome any donor to participate in the project but the particulars need to be worked out on an individual basis. We want the donor(s) to have a direct line of site to their donation.