70% of our patients at MMC are women. We have seen too many young women die (many of them mothers) due to lack of prevention measures. The Mercy Women’s Health Care Program addresses this need is three ways: Cancer Screening, Training healthcare workers, and community education.
SCREENING: Cambodia has the highest rate of cervical cancer in Asia. The virus that causes this cancer is widely spread in Cambodia in part due to rampant trafficking of women. It is the number one cause of cancer related death in women under 50 years old. We have lost count of the number of young mothers who have come to MMC with terminal cervical cancer. Yet, this cancer is almost completely preventable with proper training and screening.
In developed countries, pap smears are available. But this method is difficult to provide in resource limited environments such as Cambodia. Therefore we are teaching our Cambodian doctors and nurses various methods of cervical cancer screening that are quick and cost effective, therefore available for our poor rural patients. One of these methods uses a simple vinegar solution to detect abnormalities early on.