Two therapeutic radiographers will be joining a team travelling across seven rural communities in Kenya to help raise awareness of breast cancer and the importance of early intervention.
Cancer Partners UK Centre Manager Jacqui Dorney and Research Radiographer Lynne Omar, from Omar Medical Ltd, will be visiting the Busia County region of Kenya, near the Ugandan border, in September.
They will be travelling with a small team including Dr Pauline Rajan, a consultant radiologist, who is a specialist in breast imaging.
The Cancel Cancer Africa trip has been organised by Good 4 Africa, a UK-registered community interest company working in partnership with local doctors and volunteering nurses.
The team will provide education via road shows, hand out leaflets explaining what signs and symptoms to look out for, demonstrate how to perform self-examinations and encourage women to go to see a doctor if any problems occur.
They hope to take a portable laptop ultrasound so that any initial diagnostic tests needed can be carried out immediately.
Lynne was looking for an opportunity to carry out some charity work when she discovered Cancel Cancer Africa. She had previously spent five years as a member of a research team funded by Cancer Research UK at Kings College London University, looking at promoting the early presentation of breast cancer.
She said: “As soon as I heard about Cancel Cancer Africa, I knew I wanted to get involved. Their last trip to Nigeria attracted over two thousand women who wanted to learn more or wanted to have a breast examination, and this resulted in eight women being referred for further investigations.
"By working alongside a team of doctors from Kenya we will be able to use our expertise without the added problem of language or cultural barriers.”
The health awareness programme is still looking for more volunteers. While experience working in breast cancer would be useful, it is not essential, as long as an applicant is enthusiastic and has the drive to make a difference.
Volunteers will need to be available for two weeks from 15 September 2014 and pay for - or secure sponsorship to cover the cost of - their flights, insurance and inoculations. Cancel Cancer Africa has secured funding from Kenya’s Busia County Government to cover accommodation, security, food and local travel.
Jacqui comments: “I hope more volunteers sign-up – the more of us there is, the more people we will be able to see. I feel so lucky to be involved – it is an amazing thing to be able to go and do. If we make a difference to just one life, then it will have been very worthwhile.”
Anyone interested in finding out more can contact Cancel Cancer Africa by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or visiting www.cancelcancerafrica.org