10 06 2010

Greetings everyone,

We are under way. The first few days we spent training surveyors (encuestadores) and piloting the survey. Dr. Jorge Nazar and Joaquin Sierra are learning very fast and doing an excellent job so far. I underestimated how important it would be to have well trained surveyors that are able to answer questions people have competently. The first day we spent at Centro Medico Lucas and last two days we spent at Parque Central. We had to adjust our methods a bit and read the survey to people. This allows us to interview them and get a better idea of where they are coming from. Parque Central is an idea place for collecting a good sample. It is a very large parque in the center of the city of Tegucigalpa. Thus far we have seen everyone from employed to unemployed, males, females, people from rural areas visiting the city, and native Misquito people. We will spend the rest of the week at P. Central and move to another location on Saturday. Hopefully I will have two team leaders trained by the end of the week so when we go door to door they will be able to lead teams of their own. Apart from collecting the surveys, I am spending time with many of the public health leaders in Tegucigalpa. Dra. Reyna Duron, my mentor here, is starting a foundation that will support the construction and management of a new hospital in Tegucigalpa. They are collaborating with local pastors and Christian leaders and physicians for this proyecto. Their goal is to have the hospital be self-sustaining through a progressive user fee system combined with church support. Their goal is to be able to provide good quality care to everyone, regardless of  their ability to pay. After taking Manoj Mohanan’s class on Health Systems, I know that this will be no easy task. But, I know Dra. Duron is the right person to be leading this proyecto. She has a servant’s heart and is a compassionate physician who looks out for the people’s best interest before her own. Let me end this post by saying that what I am learning from this fieldwork goes far beyond anything I anticipated.

Bendiciones y paz

– Michael Catalino




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