My name is Enid Kajura from Karago, Bukuku in Uganda. I am 46 years old. For a long time, I had been experiencing irregular vaginal bleeding, discharge and lower abdominal pains which greatly worried me. I then decided to go to a local health center where the nurse suggested that I undergo a screening test for cervical cancer, which I did.
I cannot begin to explain how I felt when I was informed that the tests were positive. I almost collapsed, thinking that I now had to have my uterus removed. The uterus is the essense of a woman’s being, so I didn’t know what would become of me if it was removed. I was then referred to Mulago Hospital for further treatment, but this only compounded my problems because I did not have any money to get there from my home. All I could do was cry and pray.
Two days later, and after composing myself, I decided to go to Reproductive Health Uganda (RHU) because I had heard that they offere cervical cancer treatment. There, I met helpful nurses who took me through some treatment regimen. They asked me to return after six weeks, which I did. By this time, the discharge I had been experiencing before had stopped, and this made me very hopeful.
When the nurses confirmed to me that my health was indeed improving, I went through mixed emotions. I wasn’t sure whether to cry, laugh or just stare at the nurse. For some reason, I found it hard to believe that I was getting better. This is because I had heard of women who had died of cancer even after they had accessed treatment in big hospitals, so at at the back of my mind I had been fearing that my days were numbered too.
But the nurses at RHU counselled me and told me that I was lucky because I had sought treatment at an early stage. The nurses told me that most of the cases of people who succumb to cancer are those whose cancers were detected at a late stage when it was already too late –even for the best of treatments. The nurses told me to make sure I told my friends back home about the importance of cervical cancer screening for women –regardless of whether they are feeling sick or not, as this would help detect any precancourous cells and consequently help them access treatment and eventually save their lives.
The nurses gave me an appointment for one year later and by the time I went, the vaginal bleeding and lower abdominal pains had stopped long before then. I was now living a comfortable life as a woman. When the nurses told me that I was well, I was overjoyed and I have since been spreading the gospel of early detection through cervical screening.
But you know what is even better? The fact that my uterus is still intact!
Thank you RHU!