In the last 2 weeks we have had the great pleasure of offering the women in our program the chance to participate in a special health education workshop.
We invited the doctors from Clínica del Pueblo, to meet with the women and give an informative talk on menopause. The project, financed by Fundación Pfizer México, is called, Prevención y Atención Oportuna de Padecimientos Asociados a la Menopausia: Osteoporosis y Síntomas Vasomotores. Its focus is on giving information about particular health issues that are relevant to women who are approaching or experiencing menopause, such as preventable and serious medical conditions like osteoporosis.
The Clínica del Pueblo is a Civil Association whose aim is to provide medical services to those people that are often marginalized from established health systems, and to improve the quality of life of Oaxacans. Their doctors, nurses, and dentists, attend to more than 1,800 patients each month, some travelling from up to six hours away to reach the clinic. The clinic operates under an open-door policy, providing services to anyone who needs them.
The past week’s health workshops were held in the towns of Teotitlán, Tlacochahuaya, and Abasolo where En Via works. It was open to all the women in our program and the communities to attend, and there were a total of around 40 women who participated in the sessions.
Doctor Berenice was the doctor from the clinic in charge of these sessions, and she was quick to develop a good rapport with the groups. I particularly liked the way she included herself in the conversation with the women. She wasn’t talking about something abstract that was going on; she was talking about things that “we” all share as women.
These health workshops fall under En Vía’s commitment to working directly with the women in our program to provide them with educational opportunities that they want and that will be valuable to them. The women showed a lot of interest in the topic. It was a pleasure to see the small conversations starting up between the women as they filled in questionnaires and reflected on the information.
Juana and Rosa compared notes about what menopause meant to them. Magdalena and Carmen discussed something quietly regarding different experiences they have each had.
Along with the very important medical information that was provided, there was even a chance to laugh. Yes, “irritability” is sometimes caused by changes in hormones, the doctor said, but of course there are some other very good reasons to get irritable when managing the day to day workings of the house hold and businesses. No one needed to say more about what those reasons might be!
I certainly learnt a great deal. Did you know that even if you have a lot of calcium in your diet, that you still need to get regular exercise and sunlight in order for it to be properly absorbed into your bones and to avoid osteoporosis? I didn’t.
The clinic very kindly offered the women in En Vía, as well as their family members, access to free consultations with doctors and specialists in the coming months. Many have already take advantage of the opportunity to invest in their health.
We sincerely thank the Clinica del Pueblo for the professional collaboration and services. We are delighted to be able to support the women in this way. We respect them for being the mothers, the grandmothers, and the guardians of these towns and communities, and we hope that this workshop can be a help in ensuring that they can enjoy good health for years to come.