Personal Stories

Personal Stories

For tomorrow belongs to the people who prepare for it today.

African Proverb

One of the things Africa is known for is our beautiful and diverse oral story-telling heritage. For centuries stories have been used to remind us of where we have come from, to pass on life-long lessons, and to inspire us to create a better life for future generations. Cancer is silently killing thousands of people in Africa every year, and there is a lot we can do to prevent this. By sharing your story, whether you or someone you love has had cancer, you could make a profound difference in the lives of many others across the continent and beyond. It could be a story about your victories, struggles, or even about the different treatments or information that you have had access to. Your words may indeed be one of the most powerful tools we can use in the fight against cancer in Africa.

Real life stories

Amisha Patel
I am a former cancer patient and am not afraid to talk about it. I am 35 years old. My life changed when I was 27 and it didn't need to. I was diagnosed with endometrial cancer, rare for woman my age. Critical factors that determined the drastic measures taken for my treatment were: lack of awareness among the populace of the existence of this disease (plus the stigma attached to ‘woman problems'); poor medical surveillance and follow up procedures; and most important, the lack of an organisation where I could have gone for advice… I am thankful for the vision of ACF and want to be a part of it.
Alexandra Ajowi
Kamau Mbugua
Lucky Ndanu

DEVICE STORIES

THERMOCOAGULATOR

A Thermocoagulator is a reusable handheld device that has been recently invented to treat cervical precancerous lesions through a process known as thermocoagulation. This process involves destruction of precancerous lesions in the transformation zone with temperatures between 100- 1200C. It has been shown to be as effective as cryotherapy and LEEP (Loop Electrosurgical Excision Procedure) in the treatment of CIN (Dolman et al, 2017).It is increasingly being adopted as an alternative treatment to cryotherapy within screen and treat cervical screening programs.

The thermocoagulator comes with a handheld handle, exchangeable probes that have different heating tips made of highly conductive metal (16mmflat, 19mm flat and 19mm pointed tip), two rechargeable batteries and battery charger.

PARTS OF A THERMOCOAGULATOR
HOW TO USE A THERMOCOAGULATOR

Explain why the procedure (thermocoagulation) is recommended and describe the procedure including side effects and reassure her. Gain consent from the patient.

Check that instruments and supplies are available and arrange on high level disinfected tray.

Place the woman in lithotomy position and drape her.

Wash hands thoroughly. Wear a pair of examination gloves on both hands.

Insert speculum and adjust the speculum so that the cervix can be seen.

Move the light source so that you can see the cervix clearly. Use a clean cotton swab to remove any discharge, blood or mucus from the cervix. Dispose of swab.

Identify the cervical os, squamocolumnar junction (SCJ) and size of the lesion. Apply dilute acetic acid with a clean swab so that lesion can be seen clearly.

Screw the probe into the handle and turn on the device at the activation button. The light to visualise the cervix turns on.

Place the probe tip to the cervix ensuring that the nipple is placed squarely onto the os. Check to be sure the tip is not touching the vaginal walls.

Press on the activation button again. You will see four bars light up at the timer and status indicator and the probe heats up to 100- 1200

The cycle takes up to 20seconds. Each bar goes off after every 5seconds.

Remove the probe from cervix when the light to visualise the cervix turns off (about 7-8seconds).

Repeat after 20secondss, if lesion has not been heated well for another cycle of 20seconds.

Inspect the cervix for bleeding. If there is bleeding, apply pressure to area using a clean cotton swab. 

Remove the speculum and dispose it off. Provide the woman with a sanitary pad to prevent secretions from staining their clothes.

Place the probes in a disinfectant for 20mins before storing it appropriately.

Wash hands thoroughly and dry them.

Advise the woman about post treatment care, warning signs and follow up instruction as follows: Women may experience some mild (give some painkillers to relieve pain), clear or lightly blood stained discharge can be seen for up to 2weeks after treatment, no sexual intercourse for 2week and follow up treatment should be made.

ADVANTAGES OF THERMOCOAGULATOR
PERSONAL EXPERIENCES ON THE USE OF THE THERMOCOAGULATOR

 “It is amazing how a gadget so small can touch so many lives in a day. The fact that it takes just one minute to complete a full treatment and has a +1mm better penetration that Cryotherapy, that coupled with the fact that you can take it with you anywhere due to its convenient size is mind blowing for me. I'm so glad to have been among the first medics in Kenya to have used it.” 

Nicholas Koome

George Davis
Lul Abdullahi
Kioko Linnette Nthenya
George Camillus

P.O Box 1114 – 00621: 5th Floor, Mediplaza, opp Aga Khan University Hospital, 3rd Parklands Avenue, Nairobi, Kenya.

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+(254) 725 337 603
+(254) 788 263 358

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