Our second round of data collection in late December brought the support of the Apu/weather Gods. Dressed for rain, we had a delightful day of cloudy weather with intermittent sun. Adding to our luck was the help of a visiting Quechua-speaking nurse, and our two Yanamayo promotoras, allowing us to split into three groups.
It was an efficient day. From 8am until 2pm we visited each house, gathered data and collected sputum for tuberculosis (TB) tests. We were also able to match a few more houses with family names and coordinates using a GPS device. In total, we collected ten sputum samples from residents who had a prolonged cough with signs of blood and/or excessive phlegm. The local clinic in Ollantaytambo will test our samples and provide us with the necessary follow-up. Our next planned visit is scheduled for later this week, in which we will follow up with residents who provided samples.
It is amazing to see our participation rate! We have yet to encounter families who are not participating – perhaps due to the presentation we made about the pilot program during a recent General Assembly event (to ensure community support). Overall, we are pleasantly surprised with how effective this study has been, not only in data but also in building relationships with the community. We now know names and specific characteristics of each family — such as the family with “the friendly llama you can pet,” “the father who was widowed with two children,” or “Jose, the man who keeps the community telephone”. What seemed like an insurmountable challenge, or a simple data gathering, has evolved into a relationship-building project.
Leticia, our SVH/Ayni Wasi nurse said it best: “Getting out of the car, and going house to house has instilled confidence in the community to work with Ayni Wasi”.
Written by Executive Director Keri Baker and Project Coordinator Julia Curry