Humanitarian mission in Cameroon with an assistance and training character

Over a two-week period in February-March 2023, the Dexeus Mujer Foundation has carried out a new humanitarian mission in Africa.

The gynaecologists Dr Pere Barri Soldevila, Dr Alberto Rodríguez Melcón, Dr Núria Barbany Freixa, Dr Manuel Sánchez Prieto, Dr Claudia Montero Carreras and Dr Maria Pellisé Tintoré have moved together with other specialists to Bangoulap, a village in the commune of Bangangté, in the western region of Cameroon, to work as volunteers offering gynaecological surgical assistance to the population of the area that requires it, previously selected by the local team for its seriousness and/or complexity.

The interventions have been carried out at Cliniques Universitaires des Montagnes (CUM) in collaboration with local professionals. The project’s mission is clearly to provide care as well as training, as the intense collaboration with local doctors and surgeons facilitates the learning of new techniques, allowing them to acquire greater knowledge, skills and competencies in complex gynaecological interventions.

This project is an initiative of the Dexeus Mujer Foundation and the Jean-Félicien Gacha Foundation.

Program of fertility preservation in patients with cancer

A 30% of cancers affect women of childbearing age. Chemotherapy treatments prevent these women trying to be mother until 5 years after treatment is finished.

During these 5 years, patients live with the anguish of not knowing whether the treatment made them sterile.

The “Fertility preservation” program of the Dexeus Mujer Foundation tries to ensure that every woman of childbearing age who is detected cancer does not have to give up being a mother. The program consists of offering the patient the preservation of her oocytes or ovarian tissue, before undergoing surgery for cancer or starting chemotherapy treatment. The Foundation offers free follicular puncture or surgical intervention to retrieve her eggs or ovarian tissue and freezing/vitrification to preserve them for the future.

Post-ablation genital reconstruction program

There are about 140 million girls in the world who have undergone genital mutilation and consequences of this initiation ritual involve pain, lack of sensitivity, urinary tract infections, genital lacerations, fistulas and, in many cases, infertility.

The “Post-ablation genital reconstruction” program of the Dexeus Mujer Foundation cares for the mutilated woman so that she can recover not only the aesthetic aspect but also the sensitive capacity, sexual satisfaction and thus feeling a complete woman. The program consists of offering women who have suffered genital mutilation, reconstructive surgery of the clitoris, free of charge. In 90% they achieve anatomical restoration and in 75% they achieve functional restoration.

The genital reconstruction Program is part of the social assistance work of the Dexeus Mujer Foundation, and is led by Dr Pere Barri Soldevila, who was the first doctor in Spain who performed this surgery.

Post-ablation genital reconstruction program
Photo by Carmen Secanella.

Gynaecological care program for women with disabilities

Women with physical disabilities need a different gynaecological care, either as part of their annual review, or to fulfil their desire to be mother, as well as in the follow-up of their pregnancy, in childbirth care or in surgical interventions.

The program “Gynaecological assistance to women with physical disabilities”, of the Dexeus Mujer Foundation consists in developing a specialized medical assistance in the fields of Gynaecology, Obstetrics and Reproduction, which would allow to improve the care of women with physical disability.

This program is carried out by the Foundation in collaboration with the Institut Guttmann (a hospital which is a reference in the integral rehabilitation of people affected by spinal cord injury, acquired brain injury, or any physical disability), which consists of:

  • Creating a space of knowledge among professionals of both institutions, with the aim of promoting assistance, research, teaching and training in the gynaecological and obstetrical care of women with physical disability.
  • Finance the travel of a specialized gynaecologist from our department to the Guttmann Institute, to attend to women with disabilities who, due to their personal or environmental circumstances, cannot do so in other centres.

First impact program on the patient diagnosed with cancer

The diagnosis of cancer has a great emotional impact on the patient and her relatives that can affect both the acceptance of the process and the evolution of the disease.

The Dexeus Mujer Foundation and the Spanish Association Against Cancer (AECC) have started the program “First Impact” which consists in welcoming the person newly diagnosed and her family, in order to promote the adaptation to the disease.
In this program, the Dexeus Mujer Foundation provides funding for a psycho-oncologistto perform the first care to the patient after communicating the diagnosis, to identify the medical, emotional or social necessities of the patient and her family. Once identified the level of emotional involvement, the psycho-oncologist, when appropriate, sends the patient to a professional service that covers her needs and her family’s.

Breast cancer testimonial volunteering

Dexeus Mujer Foundation launches a program of support and guidance for oncological patients through volunteers who have overcome breast cancer.

The objective of this program is that the patient who has physically and emotionally overcome a breast cancer can help with her testimony a woman diagnosed with the disease, offering her a model of positive coping and overcoming the disease.

The volunteers are women who have gone through the physical and emotional recuperation process and who, through this program, will share their experience with other women who are currently facing the same situation they lived before.

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