Free Cervical Cancer Screenings for Women in Nigeria
According to the World Health Organization, it is estimated that over 311,000 women worldwide have died from cervical cancer. It's one of the most successfully treated forms of cancer, especially if detected early and managed effectively.
Unfortunately, many women don't have access to health services for prevention, curative treatment or palliative care. In about 99% of cases, cervical cancer is associated with infection by human papillomaviruses (HPV). Regular cervical screening and vaccination can save thousands of life every year and ASEC is making access to life-saving screenings a reality.
Sr. Eunice Okobia, MMM, graduated from ASEC’s Sisters Leadership Development Initiative (SLDI) program in Nigeria in 2009. She is one of the beneficiaries of the Conrad N. Hilton Fund for Sisters SLDI Alumnae Signature Grant through which she received $25,000 to purchase a cervical screening machine in 2015.
Cervical screening is free for everyone and there is a fee charge if treatment is needed. However, Sr. Eunice pointed out that some women’s groups such as “poor widows” members can receive both screenings and treatment free of charge.
Due to high poverty levels and lack of educational resources in the area, maternal healthcare is often difficult to access. Community members give birth to many children and many of the children are malnourished. Cases of HIV/AIDS, cancer, STDs, Hepatitis, Typhoid and even Malaria are the norm, not isolated cases, unfortunately. That's why cancer awareness and education sessions are regularly carried out at the hospital.
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As of September, 2020, ASEC estimates that over 130 SLDI program participants are actively serving in healthcare positions such as nurses, midwifes, pharmacy/lab technicians and hospital administrators. In addition, over 30 sisters receiving degrees through ASEC's Higher Education for Sisters in Africa (HESA) program are studying Medical Sciences, Nursing and other related fields.
Learn more about World Cancer Awareness Day at worldcancerday.org.