Last month, I spent a week in Kisumu in Western Kenya with a small group from CureCervicalCancer, helping teach cervical cancer screening and treatment to a group of about 30 medical professionals from surrounding hospitals and health centers.
We taught them how to screen for and treat precancerous cervical lesions, as well as how to identify lesions suspicious for cancer. Cervical cancer is the number one cause of cancer-related deaths for women in Kenya, and there’s also an extremely high incidence of HIV in this part of the country. Most days it seemed like at least one of every three to five women coming in to be screened for cervical cancer were also HIV+.
There is one oncologist in all of Kisumu County. There is little to no access to chemotherapy or radiation, so most women with cervical cancer die.
After a day of classroom training with our trainees, we set up six exam stations at a teaching hospital in Kisumu. Each station had a facilitator (like me!) and three to four trainees. Trainees who completed the week of training and passed a written exam were given a certificate of completion to take back to their work sites. The goal is to help them initiate and maintain cervical cancer screening and treatment programs at their respective health centers, thus reducing the incidence of cervical cancer and saving women’s lives.
The CCC training was such an awesome experience and I was SO PROUD of my three trainees at the end of the week, I nearly cried!!!