Erin's Global Health Update: Part 8
Below are excerpts from a letter to my friends and family:
Last I wrote you I told you about the Women’s Health Trip we were gearing up for in December 2013. Many of you donated, and some of you totally blindsided me with your generosity. Here were our goals and how we crushed them:
1. Investigate the root causes of common female diseases. We conducted group interviews with local teenaged girls, home interviews with moms and grannies, and an in-depth interview with the local midwife. From these we learned a ton about who these women are, what matters to them, and where they may be falling through the cracks. The knowledge gained from these interviews really helped us learn who we were serving - priceless.
2. Provide much needed medical care to local women. For two days, our team transformed the local clinic into a well equipped medical camp, and hosted three Nepali gynecologists and a general practitioner in addition to our naturopathic team. Together we treated 261 patients, mostly women, and provided approximately 60 gynecologic exams.
3. Educate and empower local women in preventative care for themselves and their families. Share Nepal hosted a Women's Self Care Workshop, which 32 women and girls attended. We taught skills and practices for preventative care based on our experience in the village, and had a great time exercising and making herbal concoctions with the local ladies.
My favorite part - we invited the whole community to a planning meeting at the end of our trip. With about 50 people in attendance, this was the largest group yet that we've engaged in such a conversation. Sixteen people, including 5 women, volunteered for positions of leadership, and the establishment of an herbal farm emerged as the primary project of interest.
Then I returned back to Portland to finish up this pesky doctorate, and now I’m a Naturopathic doctor!!! I took my Oregon licensing boards, passed them, and am currently taking it easy here in Portland recuperating from the last 5 years. Over the next 6 months I'll be allowing my last 5 years of experience to gestate, and hopefully develop into a feasible plan that can allow me to live comfortably while continuing to help this community grow into one that responsibly uses their resources to fuel sustainable development. I'm happy with our trajectory, and will keep you guys posted of course.
I'm forever grateful, thank you!