Surgery is needed, next step is a 4 hour drive

It’s 3am and the Peten Health Community Health Workers are loading this rented van full of 13 pre-surgical patients. They will drive 4 hours and wait in line all day to be evaluated by a team of American doctors on a “mission trip”. If they get approved for surgery — and most of them will, because the CHWs prescreened them last month — they will get a future appointment in Antigua, which is a 16-hour bus ride away.

Cumbersome? Absolutely. But it’s the best solution we have found to help our subsistence farmworker patients get their hernias and prolapsed uteruses repaired.