Our 6-month cervical cancer screening campaign in Mali ended in October. We are proud to say that over 3,000 women were screened and rates increased 6-fold since the previous year!
Good news for HPV vaccination: 92% of 200 women who answered questionnaires wanted the HPV vaccine to be available in Mali.
Our HPV "Story-telling cloth" was a big hit at the 5 clinics, and both midwives and patients are all still wearing their stylish new fashion. The pattern includes a slogan in French; “I protect myself, I care for myself, and I get vaccinated” as well as a local proverb in Bambara; “ It’s better to prevent than cure”. By connecting this commonly known proverb with the information about HPV, CC, screening and vaccination, women were encouraged to take preventative measures. When asked if they would get their daughter vaccinated, 89% of women said yes, and when asked why, many specifically mentioned “prevention” or “protection”.
Now, even though the study is over, women are still coming to the clinic for screenings, and the midwives are making every effort to ensure that all women get screened (even the night staff have been doing some screening!) However, the last of the supplies are running low, and if they are not re-stocked, women will have to be turned away. News travels fast through the grapevine in Mali, and women won’t waste their time coming to the clinic if they hear that the supplies ran out.
That is why it’s of utmost importance to find a way to keep these cheap and basic supplies in the clinic. With only a liter of acetic acid (concentrated vinegar) and iodine, over 200 women can be screened each month.
The cost for one clinic is only $160: to get 200 women screened.
Let’s keep our midwives busy!