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Grounds for Health Expands Service Delivery to Cut Flower Value Chain

Partnership with Marie Stopes International Ethiopia Reaches Women as part of its Fit for Work Program at Sher Ethiopia

Published 05-14-15

Submitted by Grounds for Health

Grounds for Health, Marie Stopies International Ethiopia and Sher Ethiopia Medical Teams

 Grounds for Health, an international non-governmental organization dedicated to prevention of  cervical cancer in developing countries, today announced  the completion of its first cervical cancer screening and treatment campaign at Sher Ethiopia, one of the largest flower farms in Ethiopia.  The campaign represents Grounds for Health’s first program in the cut flower sector and was conducted in partnership with Marie Stopes International Ethiopia (MSIE) as part of MSIE’s Fit for Work Program.  During the three-day campaign, more than 300 women were screened for cervical cancer and 80 received preventive therapy. 

“Our work in coffee-growing communities is immediately relevant to other supply chains that employ a significant number of women,” notes Guy Stallworthy, President and CEO of Grounds for Health.  “We're grateful to have the chance to partner with Marie Stopes International Ethiopia to deliver much-needed cervical cancer screening and treatment services to women working in the cut-flower industry.”

Sher Ethiopia, located approximately 150 kilometers south of Addis Abba, Ethiopia’s capital, is a major global supplier of greenhouse-grown roses and distributes flowers under the trade name AfriFlora.  The company employs more than 10,000 workers, 85% of whom are women. 

The three-day campaign was designed as a first step in an effort that should benefit all eligible employees at the Sher Ethiopia farms.  Grounds for Health and MSIE offered high-quality providers, supplies, and treatment equipment for the duration of the campaign with strong support and coordination from the Sher Hospital Medical Director and staff.  For all women employees, this was the first exam available to them.  Almost 30% of those screened required some form of follow-up attention.  In total, 80 women received same-day preventive treatment and now have a significantly reduced risk of developing cervical cancer. 

“The contribution from the Grounds for Health and MSIE teams was invaluable,” notes Dr. Demisachew Getachew, Medical Director Sher Ethiopia.  “We are committed to helping our employees stay healthy.  However the need for services, especially for our female employees, currently exceeds our capabilities. Grounds for Health and MSIE help us fill that gap.” 

Cervical Cancer – A growing health threat worldwide

Most health conditions in the developing world have been improving.   Since 1990, child and maternal mortality rates have fallen by almost half. But cervical cancer is one of the exceptions.  In the next 15 years, it is estimated that six million women will die from cervical cancer, despite the fact that it can be easily prevented. Nearly 90% of these deaths will occur in low- and middle-income countries, where few of the more than 700,000 women aged 30-49 benefit from the screening and preventive therapy services that have minimized risks in the United States and Europe. 

“Cervical cancer is one of the greatest, and probably one of the most underestimated health risks for Ethiopian women,” said Mr. Nils Gade, Country Director of Marie Stopes International in Ethiopia. “Our collaboration with Grounds for Health enables us to address this risk as part of our Fit for Work program and provides Sher Ethiopia a unique benefit to offer their employees.”

The Sher Ethiopia campaign is Grounds for Health’s first program outside the coffee industry.  Since its founding in 1996, Grounds for Health has screened more than 53,000 and treated more than 3,200 women living in coffee growing communities in Latin America and Africa. Currently, Grounds for Health operates programs in Ethiopia, Nicaragua and Peru.

About Grounds for Health

Grounds for Health is a 501(c)(3) organization headquartered in Williston, Vermont with a mission to reduce cervical cancer among women in developing countries. Founded in 1996 by a coffee executive, Grounds for Health is focused on increasing coverage of cervical cancer screening and preventive therapy for women working in global value chains including coffee, tea, cocoa cut flowers and garments.  Grounds for Health  envisions a world in which all women are protected from the threat of cervical cancer by timely and high-quality prevention services.  More information can be found at www.groundsforhealth.org

About Marie Stopes International Ethiopia

Marie Stopes International Ethiopia (MSIE) is a member of the MSI global partnership and a branch office of Marie Stopes International (MSI) in Ethiopia. MSIE was established in May 1990 following a bilateral agreement signed with the Federal Ministry of Health, Ethiopia. MSI is a UK-based global non-profit, non-governmental organization providing high-quality voluntary family planning (FP), comprehensive safe abortion care, and maternal and child health services to millions of low-income and underserved people across the globe each year. MSIE works closely with the Government of Ethiopia and other partners to contribute to reducing maternal mortality and morbidity. MSIE achieves this by increasing access to high-quality, comprehensive sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services with the financial support of international donor agencies, like DfID, USAID, the Dutch Government and private foundations. MSIE currently has more than 550 staff members working in different parts of the country including the support office in Addis Ababa and area offices in Mekele, Bahir Dar, Ambo, Adama and Hawassa. More information can be found at www.mariestopes.org.et

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Grounds for Health

Grounds for Health

Grounds for Health is a woman’s health NGO that delivers much-needed services to women in developing countries. We specialize in reaching women working at the base of global value chains such as coffee, cocoa, tea, cut flowers and others. Our mission is to reduce cervical cancer among women in developing countries. We are a focused, international organization with a small head office in Vermont and operational field staff in Nicaragua, Peru and Ethiopia. To-date our programs have resulted in more than 53,000 women screened; more than 3,200 women treated; and training for more than 400 community health workers. Why cervical cancer? Most health conditions in the developing world have been improving: since 1990, child and maternal mortality rates have fallen by almost half. But cervical cancer is one of the exceptions. In the next 15 years, six million women will die from cervical cancer, despite the fact that it can be easily prevented. Nearly 90% of these deaths will occur in low- and middle-income countries, where few of the more than one billion women aged 35-49 benefit from the screening and preventive therapy services that have minimized risks in the United States and Europe. How we work Grounds for Health works in partnership with health authorities and agriculture cooperatives in developing countries to train local doctors, nurses and community health promoters, and to coordinate screening and treatment services in communities most affected by cervical cancer. Our programs currently provide cervical cancer prevention services to women living in coffee-growing communities in Ethiopia, Nicaragua, and Peru. We are actively exploring opportunities to expand our impact to other developing countries. Grounds for Health is registered in the United States as a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organization.

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