In Chiapas, Mexico, over nine months have passed since Grounds for Health transferred ownership of the cervical cancer prevention program to local coffee co-operative partners and municipal health authorities. After over six years of collaboration with Grounds for Health, these partners now have all the knowledge, skills, and equipment to sustain a community-based cervical cancer prevention program.
We continue to receive reports and evidence that we have achieved our goal of establishing a locally sustainable cervical cancer prevention program.
For example, on Saturday, June 28th, Dona Ceci, the co-op coordinator for Comon Yaj Nopic Tic, organized a cervical cancer prevention campaign for women in the surrounding communities. Through this campaign, 39 women received screening services, including 10 of who had never been screened before. Women were screened with Visual Inspection with Acetic Acid (VIA), the Pap test, or both. Three women were identified with pre-cancerous lesions and were treated with cryotherapy on the same day.
Most importantly, the campaign served indigenous communities where access to health services is extremely difficult. These areas had not accepted screening services due to cultural beliefs, but the recent diagnosis of a young woman in the community with terminal cancer helped to change the leadership’s stance. The co-op leaders have expressed interest in organizing at least two cervical cancer prevention campaigns each year, and in providing other health services to their communities on a monthly basis.
Small campaigns such as these empower local communities and ensure screening programs will continue well into the future.
Keep up the great work!