Team Kids Takes On the Fight Against Cervical Cancer
November 9, 2022
Access to routine and preventative care is typically a given in wealthier nations, but it’s all too uncommon in developing countries.
Half the world still lacks access to essential health services, according to the World Bank and World Health Organization.
Of those lacking access, they include women who are dying of cervical cancer, deaths that are otherwise preventable.
Cervical cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in women, often leaving young children motherless. The problem is especially acute in Africa.
Fortunately and if detected in early pre-cancerous stages through screening and early intervention treatment, cervical cancer is 80% curable.
And when there is a problem, Operation International looks for solutions.
With the talent, resources, and passion among our teams, the Team Kids - Cervical Cancer Prevention Program (Women's Health) was created.
About the Cervical Cancer Prevention Program
Founded in 2019, the Cervical Cancer Prevention program was launched in Kibera, Kenya, the second largest slum in Africa.
We are especially appreciative of Colleen Brennan, president of Operation Kids, who has spearheaded this effort with relentless determination.
The goal is to decrease the number of women dying of a preventable disease. Countries like Kenya and Ghana have seen too many women fall victim due to lack of preventative care.
The program, guided by the WHO Cervical Cancer Prevention Screen Treat and Training Program guidelines, provides real-time hands-on training for nurses and midwives on Visual Inspection with Acidic Acid VIA and Thermocoagulation/Thermo Ablation treatment for pre-cancerous lesions.
In 2019, Colleen and the team screened and treated over 450 women and trained eight nurses and midwives in an urban slum clinic in Kibera.
In 2022, they increased their efforts and were able to screen and treat over 950 women in rural clinics in the Brong-Ahafo East region of Ghana.
The team trained 12 nurses and midwives, and they donated 4 thermo-coagulator machines for the nurses and midwives to use in their current practice.
It's not enough to go to a country, provide treatment, and leave.
At Operation International, we do everything we can to make sure local health care personnel can administer the same testing and treatments our teams do, long after the mission is over.
In 2022, 4 of the nurses trained in our program took their knowledge and equipment to a remote area of Northern Ghana (Selema), where they conducted their own clinic (the first of its kind in this part of Ghana).
They screened over 50 women and treated 4 with pre-cancerous lesions.
Mission to Ghana 2023
We are proud of what’s been accomplished, and we are grateful to everyone who has helped support these missions and life-saving treatments.
Though proud, we're not done. There is a lot of work left to do, and we have big plans for 2023.
Colleen and Team Kids will be returning to Ghana next March, and the goal is to screen over 1,200 women for that mission.
In the process, they will train a new group of nurses and midwives who, after training, will be able to serve women in different communities in rural areas of Northern Ghana.
Your Continued Support Makes the Mission Possible
Our success will go as far as your support takes us.
The more support, the more lives we impact for the better.
As we approach the holiday season, let us keep in mind the women and mothers who need preventative care.
Your help means the world to them.