Vida - Blog

Detecting Cervical Cancer, One Patient at a Time


By Giovanni Alvarado, VIDA Interpreter and Software Engineer


In 2009, I was hired by PATH, a nonprofit organization that implements global health solutions, as a Data Manager for a Research Project in Cervical Cancer Prevention. I started working in a small office in Monimbo Health Center in the city of Masaya, Nicaragua.


With PATH, we did Cervical Cancer screening in women between 30 and 49 years old and come from communities with limited resources.


At the beginning, my job was to enter data into a database, update results and other basic activities such as ordering clinic forms and test results.


Over time, I started to get more involved in other important activities such as:


Assisting in Lab Technicians Training for HPV - DNA test (interpreting).

Helping out with screening campaigns in the field (rural areas and other clinics outside of the Monimbo Health Center); keeping track of women who would be screened, filling out the clinical forms and helping set up the clinics.

Assisting the Clinic Staff make a daily list of patients for screening, colposcopy and biopsy, and a list for treatments to do (cryo-therapy)

Traveling with special patients who need Cancer Treatments (Chemical and Radiotherapy)

Scheduling follow-up appointments


After 2 years in the research project, I was granted a scholarship for a Special Training in Data Analysis at PATH –Seattle (USA) Offices. I earned this recognition because I improved the Project’s Database, as well as that of other organization's activities.


During my time in this job, I learned a lot about Public Health and Women’s Counseling for Cervical Cancer Prevention.


I am proud to say that through the work we have done, we have screened 5,000 women for Cervical Cancer, detected 8 cases of advanced cancer and 330 cases of cervical cancer on time. We have saved the lives of 338 women.


In 2011, I joined VIDA as an Interpreter, following my desire to help other people. This was a new beginning for me; I was not used to interpreting every word!


Now, after 3 years working in the Public Health System, I can share what fulfills me the most: Helping other people, especially those in need.


For me, that is PRICELESS.


Check out more information about one study Geovanni is currently participating in with Path and how the lives of the patients have been changed.