Before heading out to the camps, the leaders began praying for protection and asking for clarity and knowledge to serve women and their families in the outskirts of Mysore. While collecting materials for a mobile clinic, many students were enthusiastic about volunteering for the event, in which they would be helping others in need of health care. The staff and students gathered materials from gloves to medical tables and most importantly, swabs for culture performance. Now the mobile clinics are complete and the students are ready to gain a new experience in the field of research and medicine. PHRII is an exceptional organization responsible for giving new opportunities to women like independence when it comes to taking care of their own health. Besides educating women about antenatal care Kisalaya program provides services for cervical cancer and HIV testing. By providing these services, the organization is helping women that are not able to make an appointment in the clinic in Mysore because of the lack of transportation or Socioeconomic status (SES).
530,000 women worldwide, are diagnosed with cervical cancer and 275,000 die annually (Madhivanan, P., Li, T., Srinivas, V., Marlow, L., Mukherjee, S., & Krupp, K., 2014). India bears the greatest burden of the disease with 132,000 cases and 74,000 deaths yearly (Madhivanan, P., Li, T., Srinivas, V., Marlow, L., Mukherjee, S., & Krupp, K., 2014). These cases and deaths are all related to the lack of education in the health system, as well as the lack of resources necessary to test. In addition, it is the cultural stigma attached to women because they are not free to make decisions for themselves when it comes to their bodies. It is incredible to see how women still are controlled by family, culture and specifically their husbands. Men play an important aspect of health care due to the fact they control decision related to the family, especially their wife. As we can see, this demonstrates a factor in why women are not tested and as a result, they are not treated in time when they are positive for cancer or HIV and suffer the consequences. What these villages are lacking is the education for men and women about these diseases. It is imperative to have villagers to understand the risk and consequences of the failure of receiving early treatment, therefore leading to the progression of the disease.
In this trip, each employee and volunteer had a task designated for the educating and testing of the participants. Some of the steps where educating women on cervical cancer and the process in collecting the samples. Secondly, the participant’s personal information was collected for testing and future information to be available in the organizations data collecting system. My presence was needed testing the blood pressure (BP) in each woman and at the same time my partner Fabrizio took the weight and height of each women. Even though it was something simple to do, it still contributed to helping others receiving medical health services. Because of the connection PHRII has created with a member of the village, the community made the experience more comfortable and safe. It was a bit overwhelming seeing the living conditions of the villagers and the lack of resources. However, it was apparent in the unity of the community, as you see that they all come together in times of need.
As we all know HIV has been a problem in India and a stigma for many societal groups. The lack of education and understanding of the diseases have collaborated to the high numbers of individuals infected. As a student that is interested in Social Networks Influence on Men who have sex with men (MSM), transgender and HIV risk, it is important to get to know the culture and how these different states interact with each other. This interaction will allow the researcher to understand why minority populations don’t reach for the help provided, especially for education and treatment of HIV/AIDS. Understanding the community can give research and ideas of how culture works and what their beliefs are. In conclusion, it will be a great opportunity for me to reach these communities and educate people about minority populations and why it is important to support these groups. At the same time, I will like to create a bigger social network that will allow minority populations find help without stigma or discrimination. These groups need the help of their communities and having people that will respect minority population life styles can make a difference in the control of HIV/AIDS.
Madhivanan, P., Li, T., Srinivas, V., Marlow, L., Mukherjee, S., & Krupp, K. (2014). Human papillomavirus vaccine acceptability among parents of adolescent girls: obstacles and challenges in Mysore, India. Preventive medicine, 64, 69-74.