Dr. Sandra Madueke-Laveaux’s visit to Ghana.

On March 13th, FibFA Fibroid Foundation Africa, facilitated a visit by Dr. Sandra, Associate Professor, OBGYN, from the University of Chicago, United States to Ghana. The primary objective of her visit was to familiarize herself with a project funded by the University of Chicago Global Partners Fund, for which she serves as the Principal Investigator. This project entails the development of a detailed training manual designed to equip Fibroid Champions with in-depth knowledge about fibroids and a visually engaging flipchart to aid in awareness campaigns.  Accordingly, she interacted with Ghana Health Service (GHS) officials, and a representative of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) to discuss issues surrounding fibroid prevalence, data collection challenges, training initiatives, and potential interventions to alleviate the suffering of women affected by fibroids in Ghana.


Dr. Sandra at the offices of FibFA Fibroid Foundation Africa, Nungua Accra

Dr. Sandra’s commenced her visit with a meeting at the FibFA Fibroid Foundation Africa’s offices in Nungua, Accra. The meeting provided an opportunity for FibFA staff to showcase their ongoing efforts in assisting women affected by fibroids and raising awareness about the condition within communities. The CEO, Rev. Dr. Elizabeth Korasare highlighted the organization’s dedication to disseminate information, and raise awareness about fibroids on the markets, radio stations, churches and at community programs. Dr. Sandra gained insights into FibFA’s mission, objectives, and the scope of their work in addressing fibroid-related challenges. Touching on alternative treatments for fibroids, the CEO mentioned Tigovit, (Green Tea Extract) a product that has garnered attention for its potential benefits in managing fibroid symptoms. The conversation touched upon the efficacy, safety, and accessibility of alternative treatment options like Tigovit which most women desire, opening avenues for further exploration and dialogue on complementary approaches to fibroid management.

Visit to Ghana Health Service (GHS) Offices:
Dr. Sandra met with Dr. Fofie, Head of safe Motherhood Program, at the Ghana Health Service Offices in Accra.  Their discussions primarily revolved around the challenges associated with capturing accurate data on fibroid prevalence in Ghana. Dr. Fofie, highlighted the limitations of the current data capturing system, nevertheless, he indicated the efforts toward data quality. He further mentioned the ongoing policy revision on reproductive health and expressed a desire to address fibroid issues within the policy. Dr. Sandra assured Dr. Fofie of her support by providing policy documents on uterine fibroids to serve as references point for the ongoing policy revision. This concern underscores the importance of integrating fibroid issues into broader health policies to ensure comprehensive care for affected individuals.

Visit to the Health Promotion Division of the Ghana Health Service
Subsequently, Dr. Sandra visited the offices of the Health Promotion Division at KorleBu, Accra and there, she interacted with the team actively involved in developing the fibroid training manual. The team led by Mr. Nyanney, Senior Health Promotion Officer, expressed their enthusiasm regarding the development of the manual. Mr. Nyanneh, emphasized the significance of this maiden initiative, highlighting the absence of educational materials specifically addressing uterine fibroids in Ghana and Africa as a whole. He indicated that the development of the manual represents a crucial step towards filling an existing gap and providing essential resources for healthcare professionals and the general public.   In furtherance, Mr. Nyanney briefed Dr. Sandra on their recent pre-testing exercise which took place in six administrative districts of Ghana to assess the viability and suitability of the training manual for public use.  

Dr. Sandra (4th from right) holding the draft Uterine Fibroid Training manual, Mr. Albert Nyanney (5th from right), Senior Health Promotion Officer, Mr. Divine Gadogbe, (6th from right), Head of Material Production, GHS and Mr. George Nartey (1st from right) Senior Health promotion Officer, Rev. Dr. Elizabeth Korasare (2nd from right) CEO, FibFA Fibroid Foundation Africa.

Finally, Mr. Nyanneh conveyed gratitude to the University of Chicago for spearheading the initiative to develop the first fibroid training manual. He expressed appreciation for the collaborative effort, recognizing it as the first of its kind in Africa and emphasized the importance of international partnerships and initiatives in addressing healthcare challenges and promoting knowledge exchange and capacity building.
Additionally, Dr. Sandra provided valuable insights into the content of module One of the manual, enriching the team’s understanding and contributing to the manual’s effectiveness.

At the Offices of the Health Promotion Division of GHS, Korle Bu Teaching Hospital

Visit to the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research.The delegation concluded their visit by meeting with Dr. Edward Decker from the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR). The primary agenda was to explore the feasibility of fortifying foods with Vitamin D as a potential intervention for alleviating fibroid-related symptoms. Dr. Sandra highlighted existing studies linking Vitamin D supplementation to fibroid management, sparking discussions on potential collaboration between CSIR and health authorities to explore this avenue further.
Concluding, it is worth noting that the visit served as a productive platform for exchanging ideas, sharing expertise, and exploring innovative solutions to address fibroid issues in Ghana and beyond. The commitment demonstrated by both local health officials and international experts like Dr. Sandra emphasizes the need for collaboration and partnership to encourage conversations on fibroids and promote efforts to effectively implement comprehensive strategies for fibroid prevention, treatment, and awareness.

Scroll to Top