Since 2001 WINGS has been providing Guatemalan women in underserved communities with same-day cervical cancer screening and treatment services, and subsidizing the cost of any necessary follow-up treatment.
In an initiative to reach even more women with this vital service, WINGS recently teamed up with Fundacion Pantaleon (The Pantaleon Foundation) who represent Central America’s largest sugar producer. In this successful collaboration, Fundacion Pantaleon covered the costs for WINGS to hold four months worth of cervical cancer screening clinics across 20 communities in the poor coastal region of Escuintla. Importantly, Pantaleon also arranged for leaders in target communities to carry out promotion of WINGS’ services to local women and worked with them to set up suitable locations for clinics to be held. This local support greatly eased the normal logistical challenges that WINGS staff must overcome to access women in a new community, and allowed them to focus wholly on providing high quality, rapid cervical cancer detection and treatment services. As a result, a phenomenal 1163 women were screened, many for the first time. Of these women, 15 screened positive for cervical cancer, 10 of whom were immediately treated by cryotherapy. Eight women were referred to follow-up medical treatment with WINGS’s support either due to the presence of advanced cancerous lesions or complex abnormalities.
Paty, who coordinates the cervical cancer program, is delighted with the successful partnership, ¨it was excellent because we were able to work with communities that really need this service¨. WINGS is likely to continue working with Pantaleon this year and has already set up similar projects with other local industries.
For more information about Fundacion Pantaleon visit their website: http://www.fundacionpantaleon.org/index.php?showPage=440&cache=1
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