Ester is a 39-year-old mother of five from a village called Msewa in Malawi's Central Region. She likes cooking nsima, the staple food in the Malawian diet made of maize meal, and washing clothes. A year ago, Ester started experiencing symptoms that led to a diagnosis of cervical cancer. Her symptoms made it difficult for her to farm and take care of her children.
Cervical cancer is extremely prevalent in Malawi for many reasons, including early age of sexual initiation, poor access to screening, and high HIV rates. If changes in cervical cells are not found early through routine screening, they can progress to cancer, which is what happened in Ester's case. By the time she arrived at the hospital her only treatment option was a hysterectomy, which she could not afford. A hysterectomy can be a life-saving solution for patients like Ester.
Luckily, the World Altering Medicine team and clinical staff identified Ester at Nkhoma Hospital as a candidate for Watsi funding. We explained the process to her and she was overcome with joy that her family's wellbeing would not have to be jeopardized by trying to afford the surgery. On September 29th, Ester underwent a successful hysterectomy and is now likely cancer-free.
When we visited Ester after her operation, she and her family were feeling happy and excited. Ester said, "I am giving thanks to the doctors and to Watsi."
The ability to fund Ester's surgery and surgery for many women with cervical cancer is a result of generosity from people like you. Let's continue improving access to quality healthcare together,