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Analysis of a resource-limited women’s reproductive health curriculum in San Martin, Guatemala

Presenters Name: 
Mariam Gbadamosi
Co Presenters Name: 
Primary Research Mentor: 
David Burt
Secondary Research Mentor: 
2:00 - 3:15
Time of Presentation: 
2019 - 2:00pm to 3:15pm
Newcomb Hall Ballroom
Presentation Type: 
Presentations Academic Category: 
Social Science
Grant Program Recipient: 
Community Based Undergraduate Research Grant (CBURG)

UVA-GI Women’s Reproductive Health (WRH) project is an ongoing effort to provide quality sexual and reproductive education for the indigenous community of the South Lake Atitlan Basin (SLAB) of Guatemala. Cervical cancer (CC) is the leading cause of cancer-related deaths in Guatemala, yet only an estimated 40% of women have been screened for CC. In collaboration with the University of Virginia (UVA), community health workers, and the women of San Martin, a culturally sensitive pilot course covering various WRH topics was developed in 2017. A year after the course, we sought to evaluate, refine, and expand the curriculum by assessing the impact of the program on the knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors of past participants in regards to cervical cancer screenings as well as consider the possibility of expanding the program to men and adolescent girls. Past participated in the pilot course were interviewed about their recollection of course material and attitudes towards WRH topics. All participants demonstrated adequate knowledge retention of the cause, symptoms, and prevention strategies of cervical cancer, however, only 1 woman had received a Pap exam with the remainder citing cost as a significant barrier. Based on interview data we believe a young women’s course and a family planning/STI mini-course could be feasible additions to the curriculum. Although men in the community may be interested in receiving WRH information, the time constraint is a barrier that cannot be easily overcome at this time. Our results suggest follow-up is indicated to access the long-term impact of the course.