Our wonderful friend and supporter Chris came to visit and brought with her a huge amount of beads, ribbons and wool for use at our women’s club.

Chris is a qualified nurse from the UK, who’s volunteered in Livingstone for over 6 months in the past few years.  She regularly visits Livingstone and whilst here is happy to give women’s health talks a topic about which she is passionate about.

Our session started with learning to knit with the special wool for scarves and one everyone had arrived moved on to women’s health.

The women were eager to learn more about their own bodies and changes as we age.  Fully engaged and asking many questions the session was fun and informative.  It covered how to check your breasts each month for lumps.  What to do and where to go should you find a lump in your breast.   

Then the importance of cervical smear tests.  Chris having volunteered previously had spent much time with the team at Mosi o Tunya Clinic in Railways.  The clinic staff has been trained in smear testing and early stage treatment.  The Clinic renovation, training and equipment were courtesy of the Bush Foundation opening in July 2013.

This is incredibly important information for the women as Zambia has the third highest incidence of cervical cancer in the world. But also one of the most well-established screening programs in sub-Saharan Africa. Screening is free to all women at public health facilities.

The screening at Mosi O Tunya clinic uses visual inspection with acetic acid – a low-cost method used widely in low-resource settings where household vinegar is applied to a woman’s cervix to reveal precancerous lesions that can be
treated the same day. When women are screened early and precancerous lesions removed, their chance of getting cervical cancer is nearly eliminated.

After a fun and informative session all of our women have pledged to get regular screening.  Thank you Chris for your wonderful donations and informative discussion.