On the homepage of the Prevention International: No Cervical Cancer (PINCC) website you find a statistic in bold type: “Cervical cancer kills 300,000 women worldwide each year, even though it is completely preventable.” This was repeated by volunteers from PINCC who came to the Tabitha Clinic recently for a week of training, education and treatment for women, community health workers, nurses and others. I’ve had many conversations about cervical cancer with Adah, a CFK nurse whose passion is supporting Kiberan women to prioritize prevention of diseases through screenings and thoughtful family planning. As screening for cervical cancer is relatively new in Kibera, it is clear from talking with Ada how difficult the work is when she meets women who have developed the disease, especially knowing what we all now know from PINCC’s bold statistic, that this disease is completely preventable.
CFK and PINCC have partnered together to increase awareness of methods for preventing cervical cancer among families in Kibera. For a week, ten PINCC volunteers (made up of gynecologists, nurses and administrative support) teamed with the Tabitha Clinic to not only educate clinic staff and the community but to offer free screenings and treatment for women with precancerous cells so that they never develop the cancer. The team additionally trained CFK clinic staff on the procedures for screening women and for treating the early signs of the disease so that Tabitha Clinic can continue to offer these services.
During the week of PINCC’s visit, the ground floor of Tabitha Clinic was transformed into a reproductive health and treatment area. Women came from all over Kibera for the services, including many women from the Daughters United program (Binti Pamoja) and other CFK program participants and family members. In total 173 women were screened over four days, and eight women were diagnosed with high-grade pre-cancerous lesions that were immediately managed in order to prevent the development of cancer and save their own lives.
CFK will continue to educate, screen and treat the women of Kibera so that, in the future, no women will have to develop the disease that is completely preventable.
To read about CFK's partnership with PINCC, check out their blog on their visit: http://pinccorg.blogspot.com/2013/08/day-three-in-kibera-is-wrap.html
Learn more about cervical cancer on the PINCC website: http://www.pincc.org/cervical-cancer/what-is-cervical-cancer