Thursday, September 26, 2013

A moment of silence for Kenya

PINCC is deeply saddened by the violent attack at the Westgate shopping center in Nairobi, Kenya, very near where we have worked.  It has touched many of our friends and colleagues there.
Please keep the men, women and children that have died or been injured there and their families in your hearts and thoughts. We are hoping for the community's speedy recovery from this tragic attack. It is our hope too that the conflict that has led to such a terrible act will at last be resolved and that
better security measures will protect the innocent in future.  We reaffirm our commitment to bringing care and education to medical sites in Kenya, and making life-saving cervical cancer screening and treatment available to women there.

We invite you to express your  comments of compassion and peace on PINCC's Facebook page.

Let Peace Prevail.

Kay Taylor
Executive Director PINCC

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Thank You

Dear Volunteers,
 Having just spent three glorious days floating in, on and through the Indian Ocean,  I am heading back to Nairobi later this afternoon with a spring in my step. I'll  finish the last bits of work and then on to the United States Wednesday night.

So much has happened in the last six weeks that I find hard to take it all in. Starting two new sites in Cameroon and another in Kibera has been quite the adventure and, as expected, the two “second-visit” sites in Kenya held their own fair share of roller coaster moments.

Through it all, every set of volunteers was simply extraordinary. There were twenty-three of you who came and went over the course of the trip.  I am not quite sure how we started referring to the two teenagers in Cameroon as “the babies”, nor how Evan took on the role of beloved little brother of the younger set, but everyone seemed to take each day in stride. Amy modeling her new fashions in the chaos of departure from Kumba, Christina's braids, Leon's pink gloves, Virginia making the rounds of every exam room in Bungoma and Tabitha Clinic, Melissa training with every breath and smile, volunteers walking into Kibera, rising above set-backs in Kiambu, learning a task and then training new volunteers as they arrived; you all seemed graciously born to the work.

This was a resilient group of volunteers and clearly PINCC work is not for the faint-hearted. Leaping into the unknown in Cameroon, coping with the absence of  an International Terminal in Nairobi, finding your way in one new place after another--you rose to the challenge multiple times every day.  And many good things happened every day.  Training was begun, a surprising number of trainees were certified for such early visits and solid progress was made at each site.  None of that would have happened if each of you had not given your all every day.  I am inspired by, and grateful for, your example.   You have a special place in my heart and my most sincere thanks.  I miss you and  hope to see you again soon!
 Love, Carol
Carol Cruickshank, CNM, Program Director
Prevention International: No Cervical Cancer 

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Day 2, Kiambu District Hospital, Kenya


Tuesday was our second day at Kiambu District Hospital.  The site is a large public hospital just north of Nairobi.  PINCC's first visit here was in January so this is the second visit to this site.  The hospital is a collection of old one story cement buildings connected by covered walkways.  The walls are scattered with slightly frayed public health posters about HIV, TB, nutrition and sexual violence.  There are even a few dispensers of free condoms that are periodically restocked.  As we arrive, lines are forming at the various outpatient clinics and services - xray, lab, chest clinic, maternal child health, HIV, and family planning.  The men, women and children, dressed mostly in western dress accessorized with traditional fabrics and shawls gaze at us with curiosity and a few shy smiles as we walk by to set up our clinics. 

 Our trainees for VIA screening exams are mostly nurses.  Many had not previously performed pelvic exams but what they lacked in experience, they have made up for with enthusiasm.  They have been attentive students and have made great strides over these past two days.  Our patients vary in age from 20's to 50's.  Many have been referred from the HIV clinic where they have access to free anti-retroviral medications.  Many have never had any form of cervical cancer screening before.

 We are fortunate at this site to have a skilled gynecologist  who has taken the initiative to try to create a screening program for the region.The logistical hurdles have been significant but Carol and several key members of the Kiambu Hospital staff are tackling them each one by one.  Carol's commitment to this project and amazing skills of gentle persuasion have inspired us all. We are tired tonight but we will all return tomorrow refreshed and ready for our next clinic day. 

Dr. Jean Talbert, Gynecologist, PINCC Volunteer