The Ida Lee Project
The Ida Lee Project began in Kisangani in 2017 offering free screenings for breast and cervical cancers. The more patients that were seen, the more it was realized that the women of Congo were suffering an epidemic of breast and cervical cancers. Due to the lack of updated medical practice and the understanding that routine check ups are necessary to prevent such cancers, the women of Congo had never been aware of preventative care.
Understanding how to determine female reproductive cancers was not a practice that Congolese physicians offered. With limited resources such as electricity, the modern instruments that could improve discovery and treatment were not available. Resorting to a more medieval medical approach was the adjusting that ILP had to do in diagnosing cancers.
Once the cancer had been diagnosed, those that were not in stage 4 would receive surgery at no cost to themselves; those in the last stage received palliative care with training for their family members on their care. Without the free surgery, the women would not be able to afford the care that would save their lives. ILP then began to search for any form of chemotherapy. With only 2 types of chemo possible in Kisangani, ILP also offered treatment to the women after surgery.
Once word spread of our free services, babies and children began to show up that had devastating pathologies. The Ida Lee Project stepped up and flew these young patients to Panzi Hospital in Bukavu for specialized care.
Our door is now open to women and children. Our mission is to teach our patients how to take care of themselves, know that we will help them and bring contemporary care to Kisangani with dignity.