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UNG health sciences professor and students screen women in Nicaragua for cancer

UNG health sciences professor and students screen women in Nicaragua for cancer
Vanessa Jones, assistant professor in the College of Health Sciences and Professions at UNG, and two second-year graduate nursing students recently spent eight days in that Central American country conducting checkups for cervical cancer on 238 women in three rural communities.

Thanks to a University of North Georgia (UNG) professor and students, more than 200 women in Nicaragua received examinations to test for an insidious form of cancer.

Vanessa Jones, assistant professor in the College of Health Sciences and Professions at UNG, and two second-year graduate nursing students recently spent eight days in that Central American country conducting checkups for cervical cancer on 238 women in three rural communities. The UNG graduate students who accompanied her were there to acquire 60 clinical hours and data collection they needed towards their family nurse practitioner degree.

It marked Jones' fifth visit to Nicaragua, and she is passionate about improving women's' health in Third World countries.

"I love working in low-resource countries because there's so much we can do to help others improve their health," Jones said. "Many women in these communities are reluctant to have cervical cancer screening due to lack of knowledge, fear or privacy concerns. We worked with two nonprofit organizations, Comunidad Connect and The Lily Project, that helped overcome these barriers."

Jones is in her second year as a faculty member at UNG, having taught previously for two years at Valdosta State College. Previously, she was a nurse practitioner attending to the medical needs of migrant workers for more than 10 years.

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