Tigist Desalegne is a 32 year old housewife living in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Tigist has three children. We met her at the Family Guidance Association of Ethiopia (FGAE) clinic in the capital city, where she had sought cervical cancer screening services.
Tigist had been informed about FGAE’s cervical cancer services by a friend who lives in her neighborhood.
“This is my first time at this clinic. Immediately I walked in through the door, the first thing that caught my attention was the cleanliness of the place. This was very important to me because it gave me the assurance that the services I would access would just be as good,” she says.
When her turn to be served arrived, Tigist was attended to by a nurse who she describes as “very warm and friendly”.
“The nurse first took time to explain to me the process of cervical cancer screening. She told me what to expect, and not to have any fears. She also told me that if the results would be positive, then there would be no need for much worry because she would help me access treatment,” Tigist says.
At the end of the cervical cancer screening process, Tigist offered words of advice to fellow women.
“I encourage them to be tested regularly for cervical cancer, for if detected early, then they can be treated and this will save their lives. I would also like to tell them to ensure they go to a service provider who will make you feel comfortable throughout the process. I am happy I accessed the service here at FGAE,” she said.
Cervical cancer remains a major public health problem in developing countries, especially in Africa where an estimated 53,000 women die of the disease every year, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). FGAE implements the Cervical Cancer Screening and Preventative Therapy (CCSPT) Initiative.
The initiative aims at maximizing the number of cancer services offered to women through a validated, low-cost screening and preventative therapy approach. Screening is carried out using Visual Inspection with Acetic Acid (VIA) -an evidence-based and affordable alternative approach for cervical cancer screening in low-resource settings. The CCSPT Initiative offers instant treatment for clients with pre-cancerous lesions using cryotherapy –a method that involves freezing of precancerous lesions. Read more about the CCSPT Initiative here.