Fixation on Histology

Volunteerism: A Task Everyone Should Be Involved In

Volunteers neededVolunteering is often the first step towards active citizenship and can help strengthen people’s ownership of their community’s development. Some governments recognize the value of systematic legislation, policies, structures, and programs for volunteer engagement and have structures in place to enable more people to volunteer. Volunteering is a universal phenomenon, but it does not occur at uniform rates, nor is it uniformly effective. It is strongest when it is recognized and supported.

According to the United Nations Volunteers State of the World’s Volunteering report, an estimated one billion volunteers are freely giving their time to make a difference on the issues that affect them and their communities, often in the most difficult of circumstances. United Nations has its own forum to register and send volunteers to places where they will be productive.

There are huge opportunities for volunteering to help transform health and social care services and bring about real improvements for patients and the wider public. The challenge now is to ensure that the system can make the most of these opportunities. Many organizations lack a strategic vision for the role of volunteering within their workforce, and miss the opportunities that exist.

I was involved in the cervical cancer screening awareness program in rural areas of Ethiopia. Women were screened as part of the program and a few of them tested positive for cervical cancer. Unexpectedly, many women found they were living with uterine vaginal prolapse (UVP). The reported prevalence of UVP is different based on location, but in Ethiopia, it is estimated that 18.55% of women have UVP. The prevalence of UVP can be difficult to determine because many women are asymptomatic, and even if symptomatic, many women feel shy or do not reveal the presence of the problem due to social reasons. This prompted volunteers to initiate and create a campaign to help women who are living with UVP. I share this story as an example of how volunteering made a positive impact on women’s health.

When we are met with the opportunity to volunteer, histotechs should step up and share their knowledge and experience. There are many new histology laboratories starting up in different countries, and their infant histotechnology practice should be cuddled and fed to grow in a scientific manner that will allow them to excel and provide the best care for patients. For instance; through the NSH online community, The Block,  many problems have been solved through colleagues who are willing to share their knowledge with those experiencing problems in their lab with a staining technique, etc. In-person or virtual training is important too and provides a different level of knowledge. If you are interested in making a difference, consider taking on the task of volunteering.  If you need help getting started, NSH is a great starting point to find interesting volunteer opportunities. Go to to find out more.



  • UNITED NATION VOLUNTEER, available at [ the-worlds-volunteerism
  • Chris N, Claire M, Lisa W, David B, Volunteering in health and care Securing a sustainable future, The King’s Fund, 2013
  • Daoud N, Shtarkshall R, Laufer N, Verbov G, Bar-El H, Abu-Gosh N, Mor-Yosef What do women gain from volunteering? The experience of lay Arab and Jewish women volunteers in the Women for Women's Health programme in Israel. Health Soc Care Community. 2010 Mar;18(2):208-18.
  • Mekuria, A. Mengesha, G. Seyoum, Prevalence and Associated Factors of Utero-Vaginal Prolapse in AddisAbaba, Ethiopia: A Cross- Sectional Study, Research Square, 2021

Written by Giorgis Yeabyo, MS, HTL(ASCP)