Liberia’s first cancer prevention and treatment center was launched at a special reception on Friday, October 12, 2012, followed by a ribbon cutting ceremony and tour of the Paynesville facilities on Saturday, October 13. This important endeavor was made possible through a partnership between Lonestar Cell Foundation and Hope for Women International, Inc. (HFWI).
Lonestar Cell Foundation was established to promote the welfare, well-being and development of Liberian institutions, communities and citizens, especially those that are low-resourced and under-served. The Foundation realizes its goal through investments in Liberia’s education and healthcare sectors; and in collaboration with local, national, and international organizations that share like-minded objectives. In health and social welfare the Foundation directs resources towards the critical issue of access and service delivery, and funds initiatives that provide modern and relevant treatment options and quality care.
The Foundation made an initial grant of $40,000 to enable Hope for Women to purchase diagnostic equipment for early cancer detection and medical supplies for cancer treatment; and anticipates a continued relationship with HFWI. The Foundation’s Board of Trustees joined the Liberian Cancer Society Reactivation Committee, Mt. Sinai Hospital, World Lebanese Cultural Union, Liberia Chamber of Commerce, and other supporters to celebrate this initiative.
HFWI provides cancer screening and treatment; conducts cancer education and advocacy activities;and offers patient and family counseling topeople whose lives have been touched by gynecologic and breast cancers.According toDr. Wilhelmina Jallah, Founder and CEO, “Cancer is a very heavy burden. Physically, financially and emotionally,people often feel alone and overwhelmed by a cancer diagnosis. HFWI is here to help, to provide a community of care and walk alongside patients and their families in their journeys, Dr. Jallah concluded.”
Worldwide, cervical cancer is the second most common cancer in women, causing the death of one woman every two minutes. Although the disease is very preventable through early diagnosis, the devastating reality is that in developing countries like Liberia, at-risk women are not able to access services that could save their lives, and there are approximately 424,000 new cervical cancer cases every year.
During remarks at the official opening, Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Mr. Massaquoi M. Kamara, stated “The revitalization of Liberia’s health system is critical and we must engage and support this effort. I am proud that the Lonestar Cell Foundation has taken this step to make a difference in the lives of Liberian women and families.”