NNCTR / INCTR Nepal has now received enough funds through GlobalGiving to provide cervical and breast cancer screening to 680 women in Nepal. This report describes the first cancer screening camp organised by NNCTR / INCTR Nepal with the donations collected on the GlobalGiving website.
This camp took place on Saturday the 12th of February 2011 in the small community of Thimi in Bhaktapur, Nepal. Our manager, Ms Rhada Pyari Nakarmi, had estimated 191 women would attend the camp and indeed 190 were screened!
After receiving an orientation and awareness education session on 9th of February, the women community leader volunteers mobilised themselves to notify the women in the community of the upcoming camp. They did this by walking around the entire community and communicating to the households via a hand-held microphone.
This approach worked very well, with many of the attending women willing to walk 30-45 minutes to reach the camp held at the Holy Garden English Secondary School premises while the children enjoyed their single holiday of the week (The Nepali working week is 6 days).
Of the 190 women screened for cervical cancer 44 (23%) presented with infection for which medication and counselling was provided free of cost on the day of the camp. Another 6 (3%) women presented with uterine prolapse. Minor cases of uterine prolapse were treated; severe cases were referred to hospital. Finally, our nursing team detected potential pre-cancerous lesions in 10 (5.2%) women. They were given appointments at our affiliated hospitals to undergo colposcopy and any required further treatment.
Of the 190 women that were screened for cervical cancer, 176 were also screened for breast cancer. Our breast examination specialist nurses detected 14 (8%) women who presented with some form of breast anomaly that required referral to our affiliated hospitals.
Overall we consider this camp a great success, and received an enormous amount of gratitude from local community members, especially the women community leaders. The leaders believed the camp stressed the importance of cancer prevention and have asked that we return each year to their community! The feelings of the participants are best expressed by Anita Shrestha, aged 30, who said:
”First of all I want to thank all NNCTR team members who came to run the Cervical and Breast Cancer Screening and Prevention Camp. Without the camp women would have been developing cancer in their cervix and know nothing about it. For this reason it was a blessing for these women and we wish that such camps will be held periodically. This is not only my opinion, many women have expressed their gratitude and their wish to have such camps again and again.
The good thing about it is that the camp was free and follow-up tests and treatment were readily available. The NNCTR team came early in the morning and tried successfully to convince the hesitant women to come forward for screening. Last, I should say that the activities as a whole have touched my heart.”
The NNCTR/INCTR Nepal team is currently planning its next cancer screening camps. We will keep you informed. In the meantime, we will be happy to receive any questions/comments you may have on this project. We still need to raise $3,144 to screen 1000 Nepali women in total in 2011, so please feel free to let us know if you have any suggestions to help us reach our goal at firstname.lastname@example.org!
Thank you very much for your support!
NNCTR/INCTR Nepal is the International Network for Cancer Treatment and Research (INCTR) Nepalese Branch. Our mission is to help build capacity for cancer control in low and middle income countries. Please visit INCTR's website for more information about our network
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INCTR Administrative Officer