Serving women and children is one of the biggest calls to action that HAS answers – providing women with the education, preventative health care, and screening to guarantee the next generation has their mothers to care for them and guide them is key.
In Haiti, women face the highest rate of cervical cancer in the Western Hemisphere. year, 1,048 are diagnosed with the disease and 575 die from it.
Thanks to the support of Rotary International, HAS recently launched a Cervical Cancer Screening Program, making it the newest among our many preventative healthcare programs. Our goal is to provide screening for over 2,000 women in the Artibonite Valley.
Rosana Thelemaque, an HAS employee at our Kay Alumni guesthouse, was among the many screened this year. For the last 20 years, Rosana has greeted visitors with her beaming smile, sassiness, and an ever-present love for fashion. She comforts those family members who are worried, provides wonderful meals, and lends a shoulder to cry on when needed. And it is often needed.
That’s why it was a complete surprise when she found herself to be the one who needed comforting.
Rosana decided to have cervical cancer screening this past May. “I would have never known I was sick otherwise. I had pain from time to time, but I would have never known.”
Before Rosana went in for surgery to remove the cancerous growths, Dr. Petite Frere – a former resident of Kay Alumni – assured her, “Don’t worry Rosana, you are one of my people! I’ve got you!”
Six hours later, while listening to hymnal music wafting into her room, her mind kept returning to her family. She understood at that moment how important it was for her to stay healthy – she had so many people depending on her.
“I’ve thought about it and I am proud. I am proud of putting every one of my kids through school by myself. The money I make has never been big, but I’ve found a way to make it work. But this problem shouldn’t exist. I want every child to be able to have the possibility to go to school, for every child to have the opportunity to take a path towards being educated.”
And after the deaths of other women in her family, Rosana has taken on the role of partial caregiver for their children. “During the summer, I feel like I have an entire soccer team at my house! These children shouldn’t have to grow up with out the support of a parent.”
Programs like the Cervical Cancer Screening Program ensure that women are able to have the best chance at a longer and healthier life. Because it’s not just Rosana’s life you are saving, but all the children that depend on her income and her nurturing home.
“The hospital is a gift to this community. If it wasn’t here, a lot of people would have already died. The hospital also helps a lot of people locally find work.”
You can help ensure that our patients, like Rosana, have ongoing access to services that greatly improve their health and, at times, save their lives.
Please make a gift today to support our work of ensuring women’s health, and consequentially the health of their families.