Southwestern Medical Clinic Foundation to Fund Mobile Clinic in Zambia
Sep 28, 2016 Share

(ST. JOSEPH) – The Southwestern Medical Clinic Foundation is seeking to raise $21,800 in support of establishing a cervical cancer screening program in Zambia, North Africa. Cervical cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in women worldwide. The majority of those deaths occur in the developing world where the availability of cervical cancer screening is very limited. However, studies have shown that early detection of cervical cancer can significantly impact a woman’s chances for survival.

Heather Marten, MD, a physician at Southwestern Medical Clinic, is partnering with the Ministry of Health to offer a Screen-and-Treat program for cervical cancer in Zambia using a mobile medical clinic paid for by the youth of the Assemblies of God. The program provides women with a visual inspection using acetic acid (VIA), a useful and economic screening method in comparison to costly techniques used in the developed world. If precancerous lesions exist, and are within certain parameters, they are treated with cold coagulation. A digital camera connected to a laptop allows real time sending of questionable lesions to qualified physicians at the University Teaching Hospital in Lusaka. The team began screening at Circle of Hope Clinic, a church-based HIV Clinic before going mobile. Funds will help purchase the equipment for the clinic once the mobile unit is on the road.

“Zambia is traditionally a patriarchal society so women’s health issues are frequently overlooked,” said Dr. Marten. “The impact this medical mission can have on individual lives and the local congregation is amazing.”

The total amount to be raised in order to fund the purchase and set up of a coagulator, computer, and camera in the mobile unit and at the Circle of Hope HIV clinic in Lusaka is $21,800 – with $10,900 to come from a matching grant from SWMC Foundation. For more information or to donate, visit