Treatment and training - Dr. Judy Chen, ob/gyn, demonstrates to local nurse how to examine and treat patient for uterine pre-cancer

Team Fights Cervical Cancer, Continues Training Program

High rates of uterine cancer plague Pacific Island nations and threaten the lives of adult women who have no means of early detection or treatment.

To help stem the tide and provide preventive treatment, our volunteer Women’s Health team has just completed it’s third mission to Christmas Island in the isolated island nation of Kiribati, where they treated nearly 100 women and continued an educational program to help local doctors and nurses identify and treat uterine pre-cancer.

Members included our team leader, Dr. Theresa Woehrle, M.D.,MPH and ob/gyn Dr. Judy Hall Chen, M.D., professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California.

And thanks to your donations, Pacific Islands Medical Aid has been able to donate portable equipment to help identify and treat early signs of cervical cancer in island women. Here is Dr. Woehrle’s report:

By Dr. Theresa Woehrle, M.D., MPH

Dr. Judy Chen and I have just returned from our women’s health trip to Kiritimati (Christmas Island) and we could not be happier about the outcome. From beginning to end it was a great trip.

Working closely with Dr. Baranika Toroman (the sole ob/gyn on the island), the team was able to see nearly 100 women for cervical cancer screening.

Dr. Judy also trained the local staff in the use of a hand-held ultrasound (also donated by PIMA). This was especially useful in the isolated and remote village of Poland on Christmas Island where women find it very difficult to come to the island hospital for prenatal ultrasound.

Most importantly, we found that with the support and encouragement of Dr. Baranika and Dr. Teraira Bangao (the island’s medical officer in charge) and their nurses, the local program continues to identify and kill pre-cancer cells.

By identifying early changes, they have saved many women from cervical cancer.