The Gros Morne Cancer Detection Team (from left, Fils Gardy, MD, Orna Louise, RN, Michael Viola, MD, Clarice Carroll, RN, Jackie Picard, RN)
Orna Louise, MFP nurse educator, instructing a group of women
about the essentials of a female examination at the Alma Mater Hospital.
The Poto Mitan
Anyone who knows
Because of the central role of women in Haitian society, and the poor health of Haitian women, Medicine For Peace has planned a Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) for a number of months. Because women have suffered disproportionately following the January 12th earthquake, we felt an increased urgency to rapidly initiate the project. Haitian women have one of the highest rates of cervical cancer in the world, and the country has limited facilities to treat advanced disease. Therefore, the first aspect of the WHI was a cervical cancer screening program designed to detect early cervical cancer in all women between 30-60 years of age in the Gros Morne region. The medical team is a collaboration of Haitian (Dr. Fils Gardy, gynecologist, Ms. Orna Louise, RN) and
In the first month of the program, gynecological exams have been performed on more than 400 women, and it is anticipated that we shall screen and care for between 1500-2000 women in the first year of the program. In addition to detecting a number of early cervical cancers, we have discovered a wide range of medical problems in the women we have examined, and we shall provide them with continuing care. Health education is a major part of the program, and Ms. Orna Louise has been trained as a nurse educator to reach out to women(see photo). The program is now focused at the Alma Mater Hospital in Gros Morne, but in the coming year, we shall employ mobile clinics to care for women in more remote regions surrounding Gros Morne.