Pink Lotus Project, Nigeria
Pink Lotus Project, Nigeria
Our mission is to provide free cervical cancer screening and treatment for women in low income communities.
A Personal Story:
This year, 270,000 women across the world will die from cervical cancer -- unnecessarily because cervical cancer is always preventable. My aunt was one of them. In 2008, when I was 15, my aunt woke up one morning and realized she was bleeding heavily and rushed to the hospital where she was diagnosed with stage IV cervical cancer. She couldn’t afford chemotherapy because she was very poor. Six months later, she died. The 5 children she left behind are now roaming the streets and have dropped out of school because they have no caregiver. If she had been screened and treated early enough, her death could have been prevented and the future of her children would be more secure.
This is one of too many stories of impoverished women in Nigeria who die of cervical cancer. My aunt was very close and special to me and despite her poverty, she supported me financially to get my education. After her death, life became harder and I barely made it through college because I had no one else to support me. This loss and struggle is the reason for my passion to reduce the burden of cervical cancer on women and their families in Nigeria.
My name is Jumoke Adeoye, after ten years of struggle, hard work and education, I am now a public health specialist (M.Sc. Public Health), cervical cancer prevention and control advocate in Nigeria. I have dedicated my life and my education to support women with cervical cancer.
I founded a non-profit, Pink Lotus, with a mission to provide free cervical cancer screening and treatment to women in low income communities. To achieve this, we support primary health care centers and reach the grass root communities with education, screening and treatment. We also train health workers in these communities on cervical cancer screening and we provide medical supplies for screening. Our fundamental belief is that every woman has a right to good health and deserves to live free from cervical cancer. Our vision therefore is to have a cervical cancer-free Nigeria.
In Nigeria, approximately 10,000 women develop cervical cancer every year, and about 8,000 women die from cervical cancer in Nigeria due to poor access to effective screening and treatment services. HPV vaccines, pap smear test and chemotherapy are too expensive for majority of Nigerian women because 92.4% of the population live on less than 2 dollar a day. The health system in Nigeria is too weak and corrupt to support poor women and only 6% of the national budget is allocated to the health sector. Without urgent action, deaths due to cervical cancer are projected to rise by almost 25% over the next 10 years.
Call to action
In partnership with the Carrington Youth Fellowship and the US consulate, we conducted a mass screening in December 2017 where 300+ women were provided with screening and treatment services. 20 health workers were also trained and women that had precancerous lesions were provided with treatment.
After conducting a pilot mass screening in a slum, we discovered the need to support the health system in creating awareness, providing screening and treatment services for more women in slums. Our budget to scale-up and reach 600+ women is $6,118 of which half has been raised. This fund will be used for providing mass education, screening, and treatment and for training the 40 health workers in 2 slums/rural communities.
We’re looking for help to raise the remaining funds of $3,000 through our crowdfunding campaign.
Cervical cancer has impacts on gender equality, women empowerment and maternal health. The disease has direct impacts on poverty/hunger, education and child mortality because mothers are affected, thereby weakening the family and community fabric. Most women are breadwinners, their children become orphans upon their deaths and this perpetuates the cycle of intergenerational poverty. With your support, we will not only save women’s lives but also cut the cycle of poverty.
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