Vibrant May in Veracruz: Mexico Hub Community Engagement Highlights

The NIHR Global Surgery Unit Mexico Hub reached out to communities by holding three engagement events in May 2024.

On the 14th of the month, the Hub visited Grupo Reto, a support group for women battling breast and cervical cancer. There, they tackled the crucial topic of breast cancer and nutrition. The informative session explored how a balanced diet can bolster the immune system, enhance the quality of life for patients, and even mitigate side effects from treatment. The Hub debunked common myths surrounding cancer and nutrition, providing evidence-based information.

Shifting focus on the 15th, the Hub delivered a talk at Tec Milenio University, addressing a crucial public health issue – the impact of e-cigarettes on health. Engaging with 30 students aged 17-18, the Hub discussed the risks associated with these devices. Through open dialogue, they explored the detrimental effects of e-cigarettes on the lungs, heart, and other vital organs.  To emphasise the urgency, they conducted a live experiment – performing electrocardiograms on 10 professors before and after using e-cigarettes. The revealing results were a stark reminder of the immediate impact on the cardiovascular system. The interactive session fostered an open discussion environment, with students actively questioning and engaging with the presented information. 

Finally, on the 17th, the Hub celebrated Mother's Day at Lomas Residencial- a housing development in Veracruz. Here, they empowered 20 women with vital knowledge about breast cancer awareness. The session highlighted the importance of early detection and noting early warning signs of the condition. Recommended screening tests like mammograms and ultrasounds were also discussed.

A crucial aspect of the session involved teaching participants how to perform self-examinations. The Hub ensured attendees felt confident conducting these examinations at home through detailed instructions and demonstrations. The interactive format allowed for questions and clarifications, promoting understanding and accessibility of the information.


GSU Mexico Shares Expertise, Wins Hearts at Mexican Childhood Cancer Association

Staff from the GSU Mexico Hub recently visited the Mexican Childhood Cancer Association (AMANC) in Veracruz on 27 March 2024 to deliver a wound care workshop for families battling childhood cancer.

The session, aimed at 15 paediatric patients and their parents plus 5 members of staff, focused on identifying common causes of household wounds.  This was especially important as many of the attendees were children with cancer who face wound care challenges daily.

Following the theoretical discussion, the workshop transitioned into a practical demonstration with attendees learning proper wound treatment techniques.  The event's highlight was a raffle for five first-aid kits, with the young people actively participating and demonstrating their understanding of wound care practices.

The session concluded with information on the care of chemotherapy catheters to recognise warning signs for seeking immediate medical attention.  The rapt attention from both children and parents underscored the importance of such knowledge for navigating the daily realities of childhood cancer. It was touching to see everyone paying attention to these important aspects, aware of the reality that children and parents of children with cancer face.

The success of the event has led to an invitation for the GSU Mexico Hub to return for future sessions to focus on topics like diabetes and hypertension. It is envisioned that these sessions will offer valuable health information to paediatric cancer parents who are selflessly dedicated to their children's well-being, often at the expense of their own health.


Mexico Hub Community Event Educates on Wound Care

In a bid to empower patients, the GSU Mexico Hub held a community engagement event at the DIF Ruiz Cortines Community Centre, Veracruz on wound care and infection prevention on 22nd February. Dr. Carolina, a dedicated research physician, spearheaded the informative session aimed primarily at the elderly demographic within the community.

The event, attended by 70 people, commenced with an insightful inquiry into the common remedies employed by attendees for wound healing at home. Many disclosed the use of potentially harmful substances like laundry detergent, eggs, and even urine. Such practices, though prevalent, were underscored as detrimental to skin health.

Dr Carolina delved into essential aspects of wound management, highlighting crucial warning signs indicative of infection. Through a meticulous step-by-step demonstration, attendees were equipped with practical skills for effective wound care.

As part of the interactive segment, eight wound care kits were raffled off to attendees. The session culminated in a vibrant Q&A segment, fostering an open dialogue on wound management strategies. Participants also expressed a desire for future sessions covering topics such as diabetes management and pressure ulcer care. Such feedback underscores the pressing need to further educate this demographic on preventive healthcare measures.


Mexico Hub Travels to Mata Cocuite for Wound Infection Prevention Talks

GSU team continue their rollout of community engagement and involvement (CEI) activities in the Veracruz region, during State Department health bridge for local residents.

Research Doctors Melissa Fragoso and Irani Durán were joined by Diana González (Hub Data Manager) and Adda Guzmán (Hub Finance Officer) to continue with their CEI workstream when the team travelled to Mata Cocuite, a small town consisting of approximately 220 inhabitants just outside of Veracruz. The purpose of the visit was to provide information on evidence-based information on recurring issues in daily life relating to the prevention and detection of wound infections and how to safely manage them.

Approximately 30 individuals attended the drop-in to undergo vision exams, vital sign measurements, haircuts, dental check-ups, and medical consultations that took place on the 16th August. As people arrived, the NIHR team gathered them in groups of 10 for a brief talk on wound care and wound infection prevention, delivered by research physicians Dr. Iraní and Dr. Melissa. Additionally, a demonstration was held on how to properly dress minor wounds at home.

Due to their remote location, these communities face challenges in accessing healthcare centres or primary care physicians. Mexico Hub Manager, Dr. Laura Martinez Pérez Maldonado stated that due to the reason it is crucial to educate theses communities on prevention and basic care, reducing the likelehood of such citizens requiring admission to healthcare facilities that may be problematic to access in the first place.

For more information on the evidence used during these talks, you can visit the CHEETAH and FALCON pages on this website.

For more information on the Mexico team, click here.


Mexico Hub Visits Sempra for Workshop on Wound Infection

GSU Hub discuss the prevention and detection of wound infection during community engagement and involvement (CEI) meeting at Sempra energy company in Veracruz.

CEI Manager Nalleley Ortiz and team from the GSU’s Mexico division were given the opportunity on August 17th to speak to collaborators based at Sempra, an energy infrastructure company based in Veracruz that is committed to fostering secure, ecologically responsible, and dependable access to cleaner forms of energy, globally. The workshop that took place enabled the Mexico team to use results obtained from the CHEETAH and FALCON trials co-ordinated across the GSU network.

During the workshop, Nalleley was able to discuss the various work conducted across the hub’s extensive research portfolio and what the team are looking to accomplish with their national CEI workstream. Following on from Nalleley’s discussion, a presentation was given on the prevention and detection of wound infections and surgical site infections (SSI’s). Attendees were afforded the opportunity to pose inquiries, which ultimately led to a wound cleaning simulation orchestrated by a Research Doctor based in the Mexico team.

Mexico CEI Manager, Nallely Ortiz discusses wound infection management with attendees during workshop

Hub Manager, Dr. Laura Martinez Pérez Maldonado reported that given the prevalence of industries in Veracruz prone to occupational hazards, training in wound infection management could be really beneficial to such organisations. Dr. Pérez Maldonado added that given the geographic separation of these industries from medical facilities and health centres, a deep understanding of these subjects could substantially lower the risk of more severe infections.

More information on the Mexico team can be found by clicking here.