Fighting Cervical Cancer
We are a proud recipient of New York Times columnist and two-time Pulitzer Prize winner Nicholas Kristof's 2019 Holiday Impact Prize for our work preventing and treating cervical cancer.
Early Detection and Treatment
Cervical cancer, which can be prevented and effectively treated with early detection, remains a leading cancer killer among Guatemalan women.
Since 2014, we have been pioneering effective screening and treatment among women in rural Guatemala. Our efforts were featured in the 2019 Holiday Impact Prize presented by Nicholas Kristof of the New York Times.
With the funds raised through the Prize, we have been able to expand our work in cervical cancer detection and prevention in the midst of the COVID pandemic. We have provided transportation and accompaniment for rural indigenous Maya women needing advanced care when public transportation was closed. We have also secured personal protective equipment to keep community health workers safe during the pandemic.
We are deploying new technology and staff to enable HPV-based screening and precancerous cell treatment outside of hospitals to enable earlier and better screening and treatment for women in rural Guatemala.
Our approach to cervical cancer is built on four principles:
Cancer testing and treatment
Native language health education
"Diseases are for people who have money, and I don’t have any money.” - Doña Mayra, diagnosed with cervical cancer at age 59
Similar to Mayra, thousands of Mayan women face barriers that make care in the public system inaccessible. In developed nations like the US, lives lost to cervical cancer are rare thanks to education and access to effective screening and treatment. Over 90% of the deaths from cervical cancer occur in low- and middle-income countries like Guatemala, where screening and treatment are difficult to access and too expensive. These challenges have only increased with the COVID pandemic.
Thanks to generous donations, we are able to provide essential and complex healthcare for indigenous Mayan women.