Preventing cervical cancer in Senegal through Peace Corps and Rotary

25 Apr

Service in Action

By Rotary Service 

Until the 1950s, cervical cancer killed more women in the U.S. than any other type of cancer. Widespread screening, early detection, timely access to treatment, and interventions have drastically decreased the number of cervical cancer-related deaths in the United States, but the disease remains prevalent in the West African country of Senegal. Every year, more than 1,400 Senegalese women are diagnosed with cervical cancer, and hundreds of them die from it.

To Rotarian Dr. Andrew Dykens, a professor of family medicine at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC), the situation is especially saddening given how easily this form of cancer can be detected and treated.

In 2010, Andrew Dykens launched Peace Care, a nonprofit that helps communities and organizations work together to bring resources where they are needed. “It dawned on me that the Peace Corps should be working more closely with, for example, academic centers…

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