Privilege of the Pap

Privilege of the Pap

As the volunteer Medical Director of the Safety Net Clinic of the Center for Black Women's Wellness in Atlanta, I have the luxury of talking with women about their individual risks of cervical cancer, and encouraging eligible women to get the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) vaccine.  All of the women have individual appointments and the opportunity to ask questions and I have the chance to educate them about their health.  This is what we expect in the United States and this is how we operate at Ideal Gynecology, LLC.

I took all of this for granted until my recent trip to the Democratic Republic of the Congo.  Before going, I made myself an expert on a program the Dikembe Mutombo Foundation was bringing to his hospital which would allow for mass cervical cancer screening of hundreds of women over a few days.  Most of these women had never been screened for cervical cancer, and, in fact, 12 cases of operable cervical cancer were found and operated on the next week.

Dikembe Mutombo attacked the challenge of cervical cancer in his home country from both directions.  In addition to looking for cervical cancer in women, while we were there he coordinated the Congolese Government, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) to start a program in which 15 million young Congolese women will get the HPV Vaccine, preventing cancer in the future.

I am proud of the volunteer work I have done at home and abroad in support of women’s health.  I look forward to seeing you at Ideal Gynecology, LLC and having the chance to discuss your questions and concerns.