September 18, 2017 2 min read

By Frances Palmer

Gaia Vaccine Foundation is raising awareness of HPV in Mali. HPV, or Human Papillomavirus, is a common STD that can lead to cervical cancer if left untreated. That’s why it is so important for people to get vaccinated against HPV. In the US, for example, the association between HPV and cervical cancer is well known.  However, in countries like Mali, there is not a lot of education about cervical cancer or its’ association with HPV. While some clinics in Mali offer free cervical cancer screening, the lack of education causes a disruption in care. Seeing a need to improve the level of awareness, Gaia Vaccine Foundation stepped in. Gaia science director, Annie De Groot MD, had the idea to design cloth targeted to women in Mali to tell about the connection between HPV and preventing cervical cancer. This was a perfect social media campaign to spread an important message. In West African clothing, designs and messages are often incorporated into clothing to tell stories or urge action.

In order to carry through with this project, De Groot found help in Eliza Squibb, a then-student at Rhode Island School of Design who now works at Gaia Vaccine Foundation. Squibb designed a beautiful, eye-catching West African “pagne,” complete with bright colors and bold patterns. The cloth depicts a near attack of the HPV virus embedded in abnormal cancer cells, with healthy cervixes, ovaries and fallopian tubes throughout the fabric. The phrases “je me vaccine” (I vaccinate myself), “je me protégé” (I protect myself), and “je me soigne” (I take care of myself) spread the message of self-care that GAIA Vaccine Foundation is trying to disseminate. Through a grant from the Bill Gates Foundation, GAIA is able to give women who have gotten vaccinated these pieces of cloth so that they can then spread this important message of public health.


Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.

Also in The Maternova blog

Anemia in Pregnancy:  A Public Health Problem
Anemia in Pregnancy: A Public Health Problem

June 18, 2022 3 min read

Identification of anemia in pregnant women is important, since it is an important cause of multiple complications during pregnancy (preterm delivery, low birth weight and perinatal death), so it is recommended to all pregnant women, in the first prenatal visit and at 28 weeks of gestation, the measurement of serum concentrations of hemoglobin and hematocrit as a screening test for anemia.
Read More
Can preeclampsia be prevented?
Can preeclampsia be prevented?

June 01, 2022 3 min read

Prenatal assessment seeks to identify, through clinical history, sociodemographic characteristics, mean blood pressure, Doppler of the uterine arteries and biochemical markers such as pregnancy-associated plasma protein A (PAPP-A) and placental growth factor (PlGF), those women who are at high risk of developing preeclampsia in order to take appropriate measures. that can help reduce that risk.
Read More
The team going out to the Bilatum village,  Borno State, Nigeria to reach pregnant women
How I Survived Eclampsia through an Emergency Visit After a Birth in Borno State, Nigeria

January 15, 2022 2 min read

Read More