Strengthen Indian Women’s Health, Strengthen India

Day 2 in India with Mandy Moore and PSI

Screening Women for Cervical Cancer

On day two, actress, singer-songwriter and PSI Global Ambassador Mandy Moore and the PSI team drove through the lively, green streets of Lucknow and arrived at Veerangana Avanti Bai Mahila Chikitsalaya Hospital, a district hospital supported through government funding.

In partnership with Kathy Vizas, an attorney and advocate dedicated to global development efforts to improve the lives of girls and women worldwide, PSI-India launched a “screen and treat” program for cervical cancer prevention in March 2014. To date, this program has trained 80 private sector health providers in three districts of India’s Uttar Pradesh (UP) State to offer cervical screening using visual inspection with acetic acid (VIA) to detect pre-cancerous lesions. Women found with these lesions are offered cryotherapy, which destroys the abnormal cells by freezing them. Based on the success of the cervical cancer pilot in the public sector, the UP Government is not piloting an integrated screening package for women that includes screening for cervical cancer, type 2 diabetes, hypertension, anemia and BMI.

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Offering Women Choices in Family Planning

Next Mandy traveled to the KK Hospital in Lucknow, where she met with family planning doctor Sunita Singh, who advises women on contraceptive options that can improve their health and well-being.

 

Dr. Singh showed Mandy the range of methods offered there, explained how they worked, and gave her a demonstration of what a routine IUD insertion looks like.

After the demonstration, Dr. Singh invited her next patient, Laxmi, into her office. Laxmi is an educated young mother of three who married her husband at 18. Shortly after their wedding day, Laxmi was met with violence and physical abuse at the hands of her husband. She believes her education level threatened him. He and his family are illiterate.

After Laxmi’s third child, she got an IUD inserted without her husband’s consent. When he found out, he abused her further and forced her to leave her job as a PSI community outreach worker who told other women about available family planning services.

When asked what she would need to be safe, she responded, “Get economic independence. A job. This would make me feel safe.”

Mandy Joins a Community Meeting with a Visiting Doctor

Mandy arrived at a community meeting in Samodhipur, Indira Nagar, an urban slum in Lucknow. The women played music and annointed her with a bindi, flower garland and aarti.

#lucknow #india

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The speaker at the meeting was Dr.Parul who answered women’s questions about the wide range of family planning options available to them.

 

A favorite so far @mandymooremm #india #girlchild

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Preeti, a woman who has had kidney failure for almost ten years, comes to the community meetings to hear from the doctor. She runs a cosmetics shop and it was there she originally learned about cervical cancer screenings through a story a community health worker tells called the Sita-Gita story. She went to get tested and learned she was positive for pre-cancerous lesions. After considering her children’s future, she opted for cryotherapy treatment. She continues to run her business and now motivates other women to get screened for cervical cancer.

Mandy’s Favorite Part of the Day

Who wouldn’t love meeting the healthy mothers and babies, delivered by the incredible doctors from these vital clinics and hospitals in Lucknow?

Mother and 3 hour old baby boy. Heart explosion. ???? #lucknow #india

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