Ms. Mwangi says that her upbringing in a catholic family is one of the reasons that the organization she founded is Church-based.
“I feel it is important to align matters of health with religion. I know how important faith is to an ailing person. Sometimes, the love of God is all the patients have after they have been abandoned by family,” she said.
The organization invites Priests who facilitate seminars and counseling sessions in the patients’ support group meetings. The organization’s annual psychosocial sessions are also facilitated by Catholic Priests.
According to the health advocate, the Catholic Church in Kenya has enough resources to create awareness on early prevention of cervical cancer.
“The Catholic Church is a very well-organized group of children, women and the youth. These groups can be used as platforms to create cancer awareness especially among young women,” she told ACI Africa.
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Some of the challenges that Lady Hope Wellness Institute faces is the lack of funding and inadequate support by the national health insurer.
“We run a variety of activities to support cancer patients and all of them require financing. Most of the patients are humble farmers and small-scale business people and we try to equip them with resources to start small ventures to support themselves financially. At the moment, we are struggling to get funding for these activities,” Ms. Mwangi said.
She added, “Our appeal to the government is to make NHIF all-inclusive so as it covers all costs related to cancer treatment. While we struggle to remit the funds for our patients to the medical scheme, it doesn’t cover consultation costs and some other costs.”
Meanwhile, the charity walk that the organization has organized on January 29 is to be held in partnership with parishioners of St Catherine of Siena, local leaders, National Bank of Kenya, and Mombasa Bound Buses, a Kenyan bus company.
The National Movement of Catholic Students, youths from various institutions and many other “friends of the project” have also been invited to participate in the charity walk.
“We call upon you to support in coverage of this event as we pass the message that the key to the cancer fight lies with our youth and also call upon the wider community to adopt the culture of preventive healthcare,” Ms. Mwangi appealed in her interview with ACI Africa January 26.