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“We are changing the landscape, one community at a time!” - Quote from Dagmawi Iyasu, Grounds for Health East Africa Program Manager, February 2019

Once again Bennetts have chosen to donate USD $5,000 on behalf of our customers to Grounds for Health and the program being undertaken in the Oromia region of Ethiopia.

Grounds for Health is a non-profit organisation that provides education and training for local healthcare professionals in coffee growing communities to facilitate cervical cancer screening and treatment programs. To date Grounds for Health has opened 60 clinics, treated over 7,800 and screened more than 100,000 women in coffee growing communities all over the world.

Cervical cancer claims the lives of more women in developing countries than any other cancer, however it is one of the easiest cancers to cure when detected early. Women in developing nations are no more susceptible to cervical cancer than those anywhere else in the world; however, they simply do not have access to screening or treatment. Grounds for Health focus on education and training of local healthcare providers which significantly increases the number of women that can be reached and empowers community members to continue the work themselves after a campaign has ended by taking responsibility for the health and wellbeing of their communities. 

Grounds for Health’s Oromia project currently operates in Southwest Shewa, East Shewa, and Finfinnes Zones, all near the capital of Ethiopia, Addis Ababa. They support 12 health facilities in Oromia and in 2019 they will be expanding into Guji Zone.

Oromia is often the final stop for coffee being exported out of Ethiopia. Because of this there are many small communities where many women work in the coffee industry to clean and sort the coffee before export.

Innovation is central to Grounds for Health’s strategy of continuously improving its cervical cancer prevention program. Grounds for Health is anticipating and planning for the implementation of two new technologies that will improve accuracy, lower costs, and provide a better patient experience for women.

Grounds for Health are looking forward to the approval of a new digital camera with screening software that can automatically assess the need for treatment. This means that the clinics can more accurately assess women and diagnose cervical cancer and pre-cancer cells. Once the final trials are complete and the World Health Organisation approves this new method, Grounds for Health will begin implementing this technology.

They anticipate approval of a new device that treats precancerous lesions with heat will replace freezing. The current system uses canisters of CO2 to freeze the cancer, this process takes around 15 minutes. CO2 canisters are expensive and getting consistent supply to all the clinics in rural Ethiopia can be an issue. The new thermo-coagulation treatment uses heat to remove the tissue with a hand held device that is powered by a rechargeable battery and reduces the time of the procedure to approximately 2 minutes. The device is robust, easy to use and requires no on-going costs. It takes significantly less time than cryotherapy which allows more women to be seen for screening and treatment on the same day.  

Bennetts are honoured to continue supporting Grounds for Health and proud to see the difference they are making in women’s lives in Oromia and beyond.

If you would like to join Bennetts in supporting Grounds for Health you can find more information and can donate online at www.groundsforhealth.org

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