Current women’s health initiative candidates:

Raphiatou – At the age of five, this young girl was helping her mother with household chores.  While attempting to carry a pot of boiling oil from the wood fire across the room, she tripped on her loose dress.  The hot oil went everywhere, burning her skin down to the muscle. As her wounds slowly began to heal over months, scar tissue formed and contracted her joints to the point that she can no longer move them.  This treatable injury has had profound effects on her physical as well as emotional and mental well-being.  She dreams of being a nurse when she grows up.

 

 

Pauline – At the age of fourteen she sustained major burns while frying salted fish in hot palm oil, a common duty for girls her age in this region. The oil exploded onto her face, causing severe burns and disfigurement. Pauline has been unable to achieve any burn care or medical supervision over her condition. She suffers frequent ear, nose, throat, and skin infections secondary to her burns. We have provided initial consultation with an ophthalmologist who will oversee her medical care.  We provide her daily eyedrops and quarterly ophthalmology visits. 

 


Jacqueline – At the age of fifty, this woman suffers from a slow growing, large thyroid mass.  Although it has been there for years, it is now beginning to compromise her breathing to the point where she struggles to bring clean water from the river to her house and take care of her grandchildren. She also struggles psychologically and feels inept and out-casted because of her medical condition.  In July of 2012, Jacqueline underwent surgery at the central hospital in Yaounde to have the mass removed. She will require periodic medical follow-up and thyroid replacement therapy and we are poised to follow her medical condition for as long as is necessary.

 

Women are disproportionally affected by the inaccessibility of medical care in Sub-Saharan Africa. There are few medical facilities that address women’s health issues and women often do not have financial control of resources in a household.

In rural settings, women are at risk of severe injury when performing their domestic roles in the community.  Most young girls lean to cook around open pit fires and handle hot food, burning oil and sharp utensils. They also tend to suffer higher rates of infection due to their close contact with uncooked food products. In addition women often cannot afford routine gynecologic or obstetric care.

Although we can provide a variety of surgical and medical treatments to the patients we see in rural villages, at times the conditions are too complex to intervene without the resources of a hospital setting.  The women’s health initiative:

  • Identifies women and girls who are in desperate need of significant surgical or medical care
  • Provides transportation to Central Hospital and consultation with specialists
  • Provides fund for surgery and follow up care