LUMC science intern Manouk in Malawi

October 18 was finally the day, flying to Malawi! For me a very exciting trip because it is the first time I leave Europe. After a nice flight, getting used to the 35 degrees Celsius, not always having electricity and the African culture, I was able to start my science internship, part of the master of medicine in Leiden. After a tour of SOS Children's Villages in Blantyre, I was shown the data. This consists of about 30 thick folders full of forms from all the women who have already been screened for cervical cancer. Good to see that so many women have been screened, but a very big job for me to start processing it!


In addition to processing data, I also went along to an outreach this week, screening women in rural areas. It was extraordinary to see how the Save My Mother team operates. While the team is preparing the screening site, the women are already being briefed on what cervical cancer is, what the risk factors are and what to expect from the screening. Then the women are screened and given information about the results and follow-up. During this post-counselling, we added 5 more questions for my research. These questions are about motivation for going or not going to screening. These questions will also eventually be administered at the clinics in town, so that I can start comparing these two groups. After all, that is the purpose of my research, to compare cervical cancer screenings in the city with screenings in the flatlands.