India: February 2005
Dr. Rhona Magaril, a OB/GYN in private practice in Springfield, New Jersey, spent 10 days in Cusco, Peru on a medial trip sponsored by ASCCP (American
Society of Colposcopy and Cervical Pathology) . American medical professionals (MDs, RNs and NPs) worked in the regional hospital in Cusco to treat women
who had previously been diagnosed with abnormal PAP smears.
Dr. Magaril arrived in Peru not knowing what to expect. She had never done any medical humanitarian work before. During the first two days she spent time observing two GYN oncologists, the Peruvian physicians who helped organized the program. Both were trained in the USA but choose to return to Peru to help the women of their country. They were proud of their hospital and wanted to show her and her colleagues the best care in Peru. When the group arrived in Cusco the real humanitarian effort began. They performed colposcopies and LEEP's on almost 200 women who had abnormal PAP smears during the screening effort 2 months prior to their arrival. "The women were so grateful to have us help care for them. It was an experience I will never forget," explained Dr. Magaril. "In this regional hospital there was no hot water, no paper towels, no flushable toilets, and no disposable medical supplies. We saw all the patients using the same sheet on the exam table because there were no extra sheets. I now know for sure that the medical system in our country is one of the best in the world. Despite the lack of supplies [in Cusco], all of the physicians involved felt like our effort did help to decrease the high rate of cervical cancer. We also helped educate the local physicians, so hopefully the patients will get further follow-up."
Because of her experience in Peru Dr. Magaril has volunteered for the Humanitarian Committee of the ASCCP and will help organize the 2006 Humanitarian mission