IQUITOS, Peru – On the outskirts of Iquitos, Peru, affordable healthcare services are not available to everyone. For families who don’t qualify for social services, going to the doctor can be a costly affair.
Maria is a Columbian immigrant who has lived in Iquitos for more than ten years. Her husband makes rocking chairs for a living, while she cares for their home and two children, Dani, 11, and Jordi, 9. Recently, Maria began experiencing abdominal and pelvic pain. As she was unable to afford proper healthcare services, her pain continued.
Operation Blessing International runs a Cervical Cancer Prevention Program in Maria’s community. Maria learned about the program through an invitation from her children’s school, and decided to attend. She and the other attendees discovered what cervical cancer is and strategies to prevent and treat it, as well as learning about other issues related to cervical health.
OB Peru provided free Pap smear tests for the ladies who participated. Maria’s results showed she had cervicitis, or inflammation of the cervix. OB immediately helped to treat Maria’s condition, and in no time she felt healthy.
“Thank you so much for the medicines and for always checking up on me,” she said. “I am feeling a lot better and I am relieved now that I am healed. … Thank you for reaching out to women like me.”
Without the burden of constant pain, Maria is free to focus on her family. She also uses her story to encourage other women in her community to attend OB’s health lectures, in the hopes of helping them as she has been helped.