By Matt Hackworth/IMA World Health
Trufena Mwenge Nyarere was scared. At age 35, she experienced profound bleeding but did not know where to turn for help.
“I had no money to pay,” she said.
The cost of seeing a physician meant a doctor visit was not possible for Nyarere, who has six children. That is, until she heard Lutheran World Relief and IMA World Health were offering free screenings for cervical cancer at Bugando Medical Center near her home in Tanzania’s Lakes region.
"So many women suffer from female cancer in the Lake Zone,” gynecologist Dr. Amina J. Yussuph said. “It is the leading cancer in our community.”
Dr. Yussuph says she sees three to five new patients each week with advanced cervical cancer, a leading cause of death among women in Tanzania. It is generally caught early in the rest of the world and, in its early stages, is entirely treatable. Yet Dr. Yussuph says she still regularly sees women who suffer and die from cervical cancer because they did not have access to screening for early detection.
“Most of them are women from poor socio-economic status who cannot afford treatment,” she said.