For the last month, I have been interning at Medisol Vida y Salud, a women’s reproductive health clinic located in Villa María, Lima, Peru. Villa María is a district that is made up of both safe and dangerous zones. Medisol is located in the more dangerous part of Villa Maria. There are lots of crimes and corruption within the local government, where a lot of money is stolen from the people. The majority of the people who are of the lowest socioeconomic status live in the hills that surround the city called los cerros.
At the clinic, I have been working with two doctors named Dr. Juana Paiva and Dr. Rosa. When working with them I assist during examinations and procedures. Medisol offers routine examinations of the vagina and cervix, HPV testing, Pap smears, ultrasound/ sonograms, colonoscopies, blood analysis as well as family planning and birth control consultations. In addition to working at the clinic, Dr. Paiva and I attend meetings with other obstetricians and gynaecologists to discuss current issues like teenage pregnancy, ectopic pregnancies and women’s reproductive health rights.
Last week Dr. Paiva and I went to Ayacucho, a city 1 hr away by plane from Lima, to meet with obstetricians and discuss issues they face in their part of Peru. In Ayacucho, some of the main problems they’re dealing with include rampant teenage pregnancy and lack of sexual education.
I am learning so much about common sexually transmitted diseases, from how to identify them and what medications can be used as treatment. It has been very interesting to learn about how the conservative and male dominated Peruvian culture affects female access to contraceptives and abortion. It has been a privilege to work at Medisol and sit it on some very heavy and serious conversations about family planning.
Time is flying by here and I’ve been soaking up every moment trying Peruvian food, drinking amazing coffee and exploring other cities on the weekends. I’m excited about my upcoming trip to Cusco. PS- To everyone who is in a warm climate right now- I envy you. Right now it is winter in Lima and the sky is gray literally every day. However, when I have travelled to other cities I have been fortunate to catch some rays!!
Thank you to CISLA for giving me this opportunity to live and intern here. I am forever grateful.
Abrazos y Besos Desde Lima,