The Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre has had the pleasure of hosting Doctor Umara and Doctor Adriann from Mount Sinai Hospital in New York, along with Molly, a qualified social worker who is doing research on their project. The doctors are both qualified OBGYN`s – “OB” meaning obstetrician or midwife, and “GYN” meaning gynaecologist.
Last year Doctor Umara came to Hoedspruit to assist in the prevention of cervical cancer. Together with Hlokomela clinic in Hoedspruit and HESC, Doctor Umara started the Cervical Cancer Prevention Programme (CCPP). This program trained the nurses of the hospital in cervical cancer detection, as well as teaching the women from the community about the disease. In Sotho Hlokomela means ”farm workers care for each other“. The hospital provides care for the surrounding community and in turn those in the community care for each other by teaching younger women about the disease. Because of the CCPP more women are becoming aware of the growing threat cervical cancer poses. Every month there is a presentation facilitated by the nurses on how to prevent cervical cancer and to use family planning.
The Human Papillomavirus (HPV), which affects DNA in its host, can cause abnormal growths to occur in the cervix. This can lead to cancer if not caught in time. The Hlokomela clinic provides patients who are HIV+ with the antiretroviral tablets they need to stay strong. Women who are HIV+ are more likely to contract cervical cancer. This is where CCPP comes in. Through their training the nurses at Hlokomela clinic are now able to provide women with cervical scans in order to prevent the contraction of cancer. After having spoken to some of the women who were involved in the project last year, it is evident that the CCPP has been successful.
Hlokomela is a non-profit organisation and helps all patients free of charge. For more information, please contact HESC.