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The Women's Special Health Project

The Women's Special Health Project

GAHDA provides outreach and support for women’s chronic health conditions.


a) Integrated Breast Cancer Care:  We recognize the need for this service because women as young as 26 are dying of untreated breast cancer.  It is well understood that when a mother dies, her children are at risk of dying as well. 


Our breast cancer program has evolved from training rural health providers to teach women techniques of self-breast examination. In 2013, clinical breast exams, sonography, and biopsy services were added in collaboration with Avera Health System. This program coordinates volunteers at the GADHA Center to provide education, screening, clinical breast examination, with ultrasound, biopsy, and pathology as needed. This program will be conducted twice yearly beginning in 2019. Other services include telephone follow-up, home visits, medication, and referrals.


b) Self Breast Exam and Education: We train outreach workers to hold trainings at churches across the region, creating awareness of breast cancer screening, self-exams, treatment, and services. Beginning in 2019, we will train 120,000 women in the Grand'Anse region to conduct self-exams, know when to seek treatment, and prepare them to be advocates for breast health in their immediate communities and parishes.             


c) Surgical Intervention and Support: Building on the Women’s Special Health Breast Cancer Program, a surgical team provides treatment for women identified with breast cancer.  This began annually in 2016 and increased to twice a year in 2018. The Surgery Project partners Haitian and US surgical teams with specialized skills (based in Connecticut and Mississippi) to offer surgery locally at a nominal charge at St. Antoine Hospital, the only government Referral hospital for the Grand’Anse Department.  In addition to breast cancer, surgical teams remove goiters and repair hernias. The surgical teams provide continuing education, materials, and supplies, and they work in collaboration with local surgeons, anesthesiologists, nurses, translators, and community outreach staff.

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