Until I reached university I had never seen or touched a computer, I had not owned or known how to use a smart phone, the whole thing of technology was nowhere near me. At the university one of the course subjects I had to do was ICT. I didn’t know anything, not even switching on a computer! Thanks to my friends, slowly I learnt the basics that helped me pass exams. I was challenged because the course required me to use a computer and yet my parents could not afford one. I started to help fellow students in typing and editing their research reports and course works using the university computers to improve on my editing and typing skills and also get some income.
The university introduced me to the use of technology and it has become something I can’t live without. After my course, I bought for myself a computer and which became my best friend, source of income and entertainment. I then opened up a stationery shop where I installed computers and printers. Here I helped students to access computer services like internet, typing and editing, printing and photocopying and learning how to use a computer for those who had the same experience like mine.
For me, internet became a source of information and knowledge. Whenever I had a problem or a question I ran to the computer. I got information from Google used social media, and many other resources to look for whatever information I wanted.
In November 2017 my elder sister Ann called me telling me of how she was dying, I decided to go back to the village to check on her. When I reached, I found her in pain, she had been treating her pains from the local clinics with no change, I spent a night in her house, I was sleeping in a different room at around 11pm when I heard her groaning in her room. I went to the door knocked and it was my brother in law who opened. He looked worried and told me “this is what we have been going through for some time now”. I asked him what the doctors had told him exactly, he said they had said she had fibroid. I moved to my sister’s bed, she was clearly going through pain; she was weak and could hardly utter a word. I held her hand made a short prayer and asked her what was paining her, she explained that she had pain in back and abdomen, her were legs swollen and paining too and she told me she gets heavy bleeding even when she is not in her periods. All these had made her lose a lot of weight. I sat with her there for over three hours not saying anything only holding her back, her husband seated on the chair close to the bed looking very helpless. Somehow she went silent and I noticed she had slept. I slowly pulled my hand off her and tip toed to my room. Lying on my bed I couldn’t sleep thinking of how she was, I then got my phone and started searching, feeding in my browser all the signs she had told me. There were suggestions that it could be uterine fibroid, pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) or even cervical cancer. In the morning I talked to her husband on possibilities of taking her to be examined from a competent hospital, he said he didn’t have enough money. I called my mother and told her how I thought it was wise to take Ann to a competent hospital and how that her husband didn’t have enough money. Mom said she would talk to Dad and they contribute toward taking Ann to the hospital. That afternoon my father called Ann’s husband and informed him that he had transferred money to his account for her hospital bills.
Early the next morning the three of us left for the hospital, tests were made and she was admitted as we waited for the test results. Later at night Anna’s husband was called to the doctor’s room and they informed him that they will continue with more tests the next day. The next day it was confirmed that Ann had cervical cancer, it was in its advanced stage and that she would undergo a surgery.
The surgery was carried out successfully and after I went home and they were later also discharged. I kept praying for Ann every day to be healed. After three months Ann passed on, she had succumbed to cervical cancer.
At home, no one had ever tested for cervical cancer, in fact most of us had not known about it, and there it had snatched Ann from us. After a month, I decided to go to the hospital to test for cervical cancer, it was hard, I trembled till when I got my results, thank God they were negative.
I kept thinking that if Ann and the husband had known about this early, my sister wouldn’t have died. I then decided to fight cervical cancer using what I had and that was my computer and my smart phone. Right now I am creating awareness about cervical cancer through Facebook and I am happy that it’s reaching people mostly the young women who are at a higher risk of getting this disease. I am also building a mobile App that will help women with all the information about cervical cancer, how to access screening and vaccination services and connecting them with the health centers and clinics where they can get treatment.
Many women have access to smart phones. I want to train them on how they can use their smart phones to know about their health.