With support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, this program is working in Kenya, Nigeria, Tanzania and Uganda. Led by Marie Stopes International, it integrates cervical cancer screening and preventive therapy services within program partners’ existing sexual and reproductive health services. Specific objectives include:
- Scaling-up existing cervical cancer screening and preventive therapy services in each program country through provider training, establishment of sound quality control systems, and development of tools, approaches and models necessary to ensure quality.
- Screening a total of 1.7 million women 30-39 years old across the four focus countries using cytology (Pap smear) or visual inspection with acetic acid (VIA) screening and offer treatment, as needed, for women who are identified with pre-cancerous lesions. Of the 1.7 million women screened, approximately 137,000 screen-positive women are expected to undergo treatment with cryotherapy or referred for other services, depending on their individual needs.
- Coordinating institutionalization of cervical cancer screening and preventive therapy within existing service packages and management systems across program partners’ reproductive health networks. That includes training providers outside of focal countries, offering learning tours and disseminating effective tools and models developed across partner networks.
- Conducting operational research to determine effective models and approaches for successful integration of cervical cancer screening and preventive therapy into existing family planning and other reproductive health services.
The cervical cancer screening and preventive therapy program was officially launched by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in November 2012. Early achievements include:
- Development of cervical cancer screening and preventive therapy clinical training and quality assurance protocols.
- IEC materials for providers and community mobilizers.
- Establishment of referral mechanisms for women in need of higher levels of care.
- An initial cadre of health providers has been trained to offer VIA and cryotherapy services in each of the focal countries. These services are being offered through multiple channels, including mobile outreach and via social franchise providers.
- From May 2013 to April 2014, a total of 222,553 women 30-39 years old were screened for cervical cancer, 2,066 women received cryotherapy, and 461 women received other treatment via referrals.
Individual country teams are working closely with government ministries and other stakeholders to document achievements, successes, and lessons garnered through the program.
The cervical cancer screening and preventive therapy program is led by Marie Stopes International. Other implementing partners include International Planned Parenthood Federation and Society for Family Health–PSI’s network member in Nigeria. Each of these partners was chosen based on their ability to reach millions of women through their respective reproductive health networks operating in low- and middle-income countries worldwide.