How do you even begin to make an impact in communities with deep distrust of medicine and doctors? Over the last few months I’ve begun to learn that you do it through building trust. Topics that are easier for the women to agree with–like nutrition and first aid–are great places to start. When you start from a place that is more familiar and doesn’t have as many preconceived ideas, you don’t have to take them as far and you can begin to build trust. After you’ve begun to build trust, then you can start addressing issues that are harder—like immunizations and family planning.
At our last seminar we had 48 women attend, 8 more than at the last one that we did! And the cool thing is that not only did they just sit through the whole seminar, but they also asked questions for 45 minutes after the seminar was over. They were engaged, they were excited, they were comfortable enough to ask the tough questions and listen to what Dr. Elva had to say in response.
We are still a long ways off from a completely healthy community, but I think it is important to recognize the little steps and be excited for small victories…because a series of small victories is a large one.