Published on 20/10/2023

Pink October: ENDA Santé deploys its mobile clinic in Fissel for cervical cancer screening

Cervical cancer is the leading cause of cancer death among women in Senegal, and one of the main causes of death among women in the world's poorest countries. In the vast majority of cases, these cancers are entirely preventable. Early detection could prevent hundreds of thousands of unnecessary deaths.

With the support of ENDA Santé, the Thiadiaye health district organized a screening day coupled with an information and awareness session on cervical and breast cancer, to mark the Pink October campaign. The aim is to prevent cancer in women, but also to raise awareness of the importance of screening and medical follow-up.

ENDA Santé provided medicines and inputs, and contributed its mobile clinic and field teams to help the district achieve the objectives of the screening day. The women, who turned out in large numbers in the early hours of the morning, all benefited from cervical screening, breast palpation and useful information on cancer prevention measures and breast self-examination.

Nearly 100 women were screened, consulted and given free medication.

For midwife Maïmouna Ndiaye, the objectives were achieved. Everything went smoothly, from the organization of the day to the medical procedures. Nearly 100 women were screened, and suspected cases were referred to specialized care facilities.

It's a good initiative. I went for a screening and I'm relieved to know that my cervix is breast. We know the devastation caused by cancer and it's frightening. I'd like to see this initiative scaled up and organized in Fissel's most inaccessible villages.

Marie Claire Dione, teacher in Fissel.

Other advanced strategies are being organized in the locality, notably in Mbalam Sone, Mbafaye and Tocomak, to reach as many women as possible, including those living in hard-to-reach areas, informs the master midwife at the Fissel post.

The Djaraf of the village of Fissel welcomed the initiative. He thanked the NGO ENDA Santé for all the support it provides to the Thiadiaye district. In addition to this campaign, the district is part of the SANSAS project, implemented by a consortium of NGOs including ENDA Santé. The aim of the project is to improve the reproductive health of adolescents and young people in the Sédhiou region and Mbour department.  

In addition to the suspected cases of cervical cancer diagnosed, we dwelt on the many cases of STIs. The master midwife explains:

First, there are the poor hygiene conditions. Then there's the fact that most of the women come from very poor households. Financially, they have no access to consultations or medication. Finally, polygamy is an obstacle to STI treatment. It's very difficult to treat co-wives and especially husbands, who are often absent or simply refuse to comply with treatment. As a result, the infection is repeated in the household.

Maïmouna Ndiaye, midwife maestress at the Fissel maternity hospital

The women were nevertheless made aware of the need to involve their husbands in the health of the household. They promise to discuss it with their husbands. But more inclusive strategies should be developed to raise husbands' awareness of the importance of household health. The local authorities, the mayor's representative, the prefect and members of the CDS took part in the activity and pledged to continue supporting the health post to enable them to achieve the set results.