Women’s Way to Wellness Program in South Africa
Our inaugural program began in July 2010 and is carried out by our South African division, the United Women’s Foundation of South Africa (UWFSA). The current focus of the program is sexual health education and early detection of sexually transmitted infections. This focus was determined through extensive research and stakeholder engagement. With the approval of the South African Department of Health, UWFSA activities will support the South African National Strategic Plan for HIV, AIDS and STI.
In the developing world, STDs are the second leading cause of death among women between 15 and 44 years of age.
In South Africa, less than 20 percent of women have a pap smear screening during their lifetime. Cervical cancer occurrences in South Africa are nearly double the global average, accounting for 34 percent of all cancer deaths in women. The main challenges preventing South African women from obtaining routine healthcare screening and treatment include transportation costs, economic impact of time off from work, and medical fees. To address these challenges, UWFSA will provide non-invasive, needle-free screening devices. These revolutionary tampon-like devices allow women to initiate a sexual health screening in the privacy of their home. The tests are performed at the height of a woman’s menstrual period. Once the blood is collected and sealed in the accompanying vial, it is mailed to a laboratory partner for testing.
In addition to cervical and endometrial cancer, our patented tests can detect HIV, AIDS and other STDs with a 98 percent accuracy rate. Unlike a traditional pap smear, which only collects 45,000 cells, the test collects millions of cells. The use of a single sample and sealed containers also reduces the chance of cross-contamination.
Adolescent girls and young women (15-24 years of age) are twice as likely to be at risk of HIV infection compared to their male counterparts, often due to unwanted and forced sexual intercourse
UWFSA is currently building partnerships with local healthcare organizations, as well as community development and faith-based organizations. In addition to developing outreach and awareness initiatives, UWFSA aims to enlist and train volunteers from these organizations to help distribute the screening kits. The kits are available in multiple local languages and come with easy-to-understand instructions and illustrations.
Reducing women's mortality and morbidity leads to changes in child human capital (improved health, nutrition and education), as well as changes in women's productivity source: http://paa2013.princeton.edu/papers/132785
With early detection, treatment and education, our program seeks to improve the health of all South African women of childbearing age. Developing local capacity is our way to ensure the long-term sustainability of this effort, along with empowering local communities through ownership.
Early Detection can save lives!
The United Women’s Foundation, Inc., (a US Based
501c3 organization, EIN 27-3442068 and our subsidiary United Women's Foundation of Southern Africa, a locally registered Section 21 company, 2010/013334/08 is dedicated to the advancement of women by promoting discourse interaction, research and advice on matters concerning women in the fields of healthcare, art, culture, education and any related subjects, worldwide.
The Multicollection Device for Bodily Fluids is a needle free collection device that will be utilized for our screening programs. This product was developed by
our founder and executive director, Constance Wilson Andresen, in collaboration with her deceased husband and inventor, John Andresen. Through the foundation, we strive to bring this revolutionary device to the people. You can be a part of the mission to improve global health and achieve an HIV free generation. Utilizing this device, we are able to detect more effectively than traditional methods, a range of conditions and diseases including but not limited to HIV/AIDS, cervical cancer, endometrial cancer, HPV and other sexually transmitted infections. Especially in communities where there is a lack of
health insurance and healthcare professionals, this needle free collection device is a game changer in Preventive and
Early Detection initiatives.
As we continue to develop and implement our programs, the United Womens Foundation is establishing valuable partnerships to support the pursuit of a healthier global community.
In addition to partnerships for collaboration and financial contributions, we are currently building both our domestic and overseas advisory boards. If you or a member of your team are candidates for these positions, please do let us know.
We can improve global health together!