3 weeks have flown by and I’m almost half way through my time in Mexico!
Last weekend I traveled to Teotihuacan to see the remains of the largest pre-Columbian city located in the Basin of Mexico. A UNESCO World Heritage site since 1987, visiting Teotihuacan was a must! After negotiating a solid price with the taxi (bargaining = my favorite past time), we were whisked away, and one hour later I was standing face to face with the massive pyramid of the sun! Climbing the pyramid was terrifying due to the height, and exhausting due to my lack of athleticism, but I pushed forward and made my way to the top!
I realize my Mexican adventure has primarily focused on food and sightseeing… I know, a great focus, but how about a refocus on the project I’m currently working on? As I mentioned in a previous blog, with the support of Global Reach, I’m conducting a randomized trial of an mHealth automated telephone support service for patients with hypertension in Mexico and possibly applicable to other low-income areas. My partner in crime (and research) is Sofia Gaudioso, a Michigan MPH student from Wisconsin. Here is a picture of us in the Real del Monte clinic:
Together we have been busy advertising our study and offering free blood pressure screenings through word of mouth, flyers, mini-blood pressure parties organized by our host family, and off-the-street recruiting. We get creative! And most of all, we have fun!
Best patient so far – Tequila, the dog. Thankfully we diagnosed her pre-hypertensive state early, and with some reduced sodium dog treats, she will back to roaming the streets in no time!
When not taking the blood pressure of canine’s, we focus our recruitment on possible human participants. I normally hit the streets every morning and encourage people to come into the clinic for a quick screening. I was personally congratulated by a few people for my enthusiastic street recruiting – “Do you want to check your BP? It’s FREE. Did I mention it’s FREE? Might as well take advantage, right?” I could have a future in used car sales (plan B haha). As a result, recruiting has been incredibly effective as we inch closer to our goal of 100 participants! Cross fingers we reach our goal by the end of this week!