Apr 25, 2018

Early interventions saving lives

Dr Sarah Zeb (middle) with Hlokomela staff.
Dr Sarah Zeb (middle) with Hlokomela staff.

It’s time for an update again, oh how time flies! A lot has happened during the past three months here at the Hlokomela Women’s Clinic.

Our Ultrasound Nurse, Sonja Botha, attended two Ultrasound training courses in Johannesburg, Gauteng. She was trained in basic obstetric scanning as well as abdominal and pelvic scanning. A need for these kinds of examinations had been identified and we are proud to now offer this service also.  

She is using her training daily and in this way improving on her skills and on the quality and spectrum of services we can provide to our patients.  In May 2018 she will be attending a 4D training workshop. This will enable us to provide expectant mommies with beautiful images of their unborn babies. This will be a first for many patients!

Sadly, two patients were diagnosed with BIRADS 5* findings in their breasts! Both ladies in one week! They were sent to a referral hospital for biopsies. Results are currently pending. If it was not for the ultrasound services we provide, these pathologies would probably never have been detected, or probably only when it was much too late.

Dr Sarah Zeb, from Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore USA, volunteered at the Hlokomela Women’s Clinic during the month of April. She is a specialist in the field of breast imaging and ultrasound. Dr Zeb worked with Sonja and shared some of her knowledge and skills. This was a wonderful opportunity for our staff and a great experience to have Dr Zeb visit us. She also sponsored much needed teaching material which we are grateful for.

Thank you to you, our GlobalGiving family, for continuously making it possible for us to do what we do and save lives!

*When a radiologist interprets an ultrasound image, he or she assigns a score to it used to communicate with doctors about how concerned he or she is about the findings. Did anything look abnormal? How serious is the abnormality that was found? This and other information is efficiently summed up in one number, called the Breast Imaging Reporting and Data System (BI-RADS) score.

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Jan 29, 2018

New year, new resolution.

Welcome back to Hlokomela’s newsletter!

We hope everyone had a great new year but for us, the work has only just begun.
A new year is upon us, with our resolutions and resolve we are aiming to expand certain areas:

Online expansion - Our outreach on social media will be expanded to spread awareness and to show our proactive approach within the community, helping us with this mission, a new volunteer has joined our team for marketing/social media and fundraising, (a lot of work) but we found that we needed a dedicated person to manage all these aspects, as running Hlokomela is challenging on its own, this will now take pressure off some of the permanent staff members who were carrying this weight.

Keeping ahead of the curve - New medical training for staff including abdominals and obstetric ultrasound, we aim to keep our staff up to date, as medicine is always changing, we need to keep on top.

From Hlokomela, we’d like to thank all of our team across the sites for their hard work and dedication last year, we hope to have another successful year.

Last but not least, a big thank you to the donors, without your support this wouldn’t be possible!

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Nov 3, 2017

Know your breast and beat cancer

Hlokomela Wellness Day with Rotary Club
Hlokomela Wellness Day with Rotary Club

Christmas is just around the corner and the migrant workers are returning to the Hoedspruit area in Limpopo, South Africa to start harvesting mangoes for the season. This is Hlokomela’s busiest time of the year and a great opportunity to reach vulnerable women to educate them about breast and cervical cancer. Thanks to your generous donations through GlobalGiving, we can carry on with this life saving work!

Wellness Day

On October 20, 2017 Hlokomela, in conjunction with the Hoedspruit Rotary Club, held a Family Wellness Day in Hoedspruit town. Here our Women’s Clinic offered breast examinations to women taking part in the day. We managed to screen 44 women and 2 men. Out of the 44, 10 were referred to the clinic for breast ultrasounds. The day was amazing and a wonderful opportunity to create awareness.

Stats

Every month that passes proves to increase the number of women being screened for breast cancer. Women from all walks of life are making use of our facility and are being referred to us from other institutions. We aim to provide a screening service to any woman who needs it. We aim to be sustainable, in order to become sustainable we have implemented a small fee-for-service to women outside of our clinic patient demographics. This has proven to open the door to a much wider number of women in and around our community. We scanned 156 women for breast abnormalities from August 1 to November 1, 2017. Out of the 156, we had 14 patients with some sort of breast pathology. During this period there were no confirmed malignancies.

Sex workers educated about breast and cervical cancer

During September we had a workshop for sex workers about breast and cervical cancer. These women are at a higher risk of developing these cancers due to their HIV status. They were very interested in the information shared and went back to their communities to share the knowledge as well as to show fellow sex workers how to do breast self examination.

Coming up

We are also very excited about possibly expanding our scope to introduce more screening options for women in the near future, such as 4D scans.

Thank you so much for making this vital service possible with all your generous donations! 

Breast Cancer educational material
Breast Cancer educational material

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