Science is Saving Lives in Sierra Leone
Aminata* was scrolling on Facebook one day and read about a free clinic for women to be screened for cervical cancer. In Sierra Leone, where access to medical treatment is rare, this clinic piqued her interest. She didn’t know much about cervical cancer, but she knew that most of the women she’d heard about with cancer died quickly and without much warning. Aminata knew that getting cancer in Sierra Leone was essentially a death sentence as treatment is limited and there is no access to radiation in the country.
The mobile clinic was located 15 km away from Makeni that week so she made her way there to be screened. At her initial visit it was discovered that she had cancer lesions and was surprised when she was treated on the same day.
Aminata attended a follow up appointment 6 months later. She was rescreened and was elated to learn that the cancer lesions hadn’t returned. Early screening and immediate treatment saved her life.
Screening Is Saving Lives
Did you know that while cervical cancer is slow growing and easy to treat with early detection, it is still one of the leading causes of death among women globally? Most of these deaths occur in developing countries as PAP tests are not available and the laboratories to read results are too expensive and hard to access. Cervical cancer is the 4th most common cancer in women worldwide and 70% of women diagnosed in Sierra Leone will die the same year they are diagnosed.
Then he turned to the host. “The next time you put on a dinner, don’t just invite your friends and family and rich neighbours, the kind of people who will return the favor. Invite some people who never get invited out, the misfits from the wrong side of the tracks. You’ll be—and experience—a blessing. They won’t be able to return the favor, but the favor will be returned—oh, how it will be returned!—at the resurrection of God’s people.”
Luke 14:12-14 (The Message)
Each week, the World Hope Cervical Cancer Screening Team has been bringing hope to some of the most remote locations in Sierra Leone. They drive four wheeled vehicles and motos to rural and hard to reach locations to provide free screening to women across the country. Today, we are celebrating that at the end of 2023, 3,521 women had been screened and 84 treated, including Aminata!