Women's Global Cancer Alliance

Gonaives Cervical Prevention Project

Regrettably, Haiti does not have a medical facility to treat cancer.  There is no radiation therapy, very marginal chemotherapy, and  available surgery does not meet current standards of removing malignant tumors.  The result is that 90% of Haitians have no access to cancer treatment!  The remaining 10%, i.e. the “upper class”, find treatment off of the island, going to neighboring Havana or Miami for their care.

The most common cancer in Haiti is Cancer of the Cervix.  This disease often attacks women in their 30’s and 40’s when their children are still young and in the formative stages of their lives. The fact that 90% of Haitian women have no access to treatment means that the mortality rate is very high.

Pap smears are generally not available and cervical cancer screening programs are  limited – as are Pathologists to read the Pap smears. Public health campaigns to raise awareness and educate women on Cervical Cancer are generally lacking.

There is a solution!

An alternative to the Pap smear has been identified, is easily available and can aid in the early detection of any changes.  By using household vinegar, worrisome lesions on the cervix can be visualized and treated by freezing the cervix.

The WGCA is currently working in partnership with Health 4 Haiti to establish a Cervical Cancer Prevention Clinic in Gonaives, Haiti, approximately 100 miles north of Port au Prince.

The beauty of this method is that it does not require a Pap smear, a biopsy, a pathology report or multiple visits to the doctor. The procedure can be performed in one visit to the clinic. In addition, it affords an opportunity for women to be  screened for HIV. Those found positive can then be referred to a HIV/AIDS clinic.

The program requires funding  Haitian staff and community health workers to promote screening and treatment locally. The cost to operate the clinic for the next five years is approximately $350,000.  The program means lives and families saved.

Please take this to heart and contribute to WGCA’s Gonaives Cervical Cancer Prevention Program.

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