Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Press release:Cancer Prevention in the Market

Medicine For Peace Cancer Prevention Program Targets Haitian Market Women

Gros Morne, Haiti. Community health workers can be found in the early morning in the markets of Gros Morne. They are educating women about the alarmingly high rates of cervical and breast cancer in Haiti, and how these diseases can be prevented. As part of the program, the health workers give the market women appointments to the Medicine For Peace (MFP) Women’s Health Clinic at the Alma Mater Hospital for a nominal fee.

“Haitian women are often the sole bread winners, in addition to caring for children and the elderly. They realize the importance of maintaining their health, and will seize the opportunity to prevent debilitating diseases if given the opportunity,” says Dr. Michael Viola, MFP Director.

The MFP cervical cancer prevention initiative has screened nearly 1,750 women for cervical cancer and pre-cancerous lesions of the cervix using colposcopy and visual inspection of the cervix using acetic acid. MFP operates a clinic at the Alma Mater Hospital and has a mobile clinic that visits dispensaries in remote areas around Gros Morne. The MFP team is a collaboration of Haitian and U.S. doctors and nurses. An important part of the initiative is public awareness that cervical cancer is a preventable disease, and the fostering of health-promoting behavior in women.

The town of Gros Morne has a population of 22,000 residents, with an additional 100,000 people in the surrounding mountainous villages.


MFP is a Washington, DC based medical relief organization dedicated to providing medical care to women and children who are victims of war and extreme poverty. MFP has had medical programs in El Salvador, Iraq, Bosnia, and has worked in the Gros Morne region in Haiti for twelve years. Also, MFP operates the Medicine For Peace Health Center for Victims of Torture in Hyattsville, MD.

For more information on the Haitian Women’s Health Initiative contact: Michael V. Viola, MD, at 202-441-4545 in Washington or 509 3 164 8157 in Haiti, or medforpeace@aol.com