Using Technology to Enhance Partnerships: Developing Cervical Screening (‘See and Treat’) Services in Western Uganda
Cervical cancer remains the main cause of cancer deaths in Low- and Middle-Income Countries, such as Uganda, where it contributes to over 80% of all female malignancies. One of the main problems is late presentation: a lack of awareness and screening services results in most cases of cervical cancer being diagnosed at a very late stage (where treatment is far more complex) or sometimes being missed completely.
In partnership with Knowledge for Change (a registered UK charity), our project team has developed and established effective cervical screening services in three community-based public health facilities in Fort Portal, Uganda. Alongside setting up the units, we conducted a community survey and GPS mapping process to plan targeted awareness raising campaigns, trained local staff how to use and maintain the newly provided equipment and worked with them to establish a high level of respectful care for patients. On-going support and mentoring has been provided by two UK based specialist gynaecologists using a telemedicine approach.
Over 1,500 women have been screened since the beginning of the project, 80% for the very first time, and 53 have been identified for treatment and/or further management.
Funder: The Department for International Development (DFID) and Knowledge for Change (K4C)
Team: Prof Louise Ackers, Dr James Ackers-Johnson (University of Salford); Dr Veena Bazaz, Dr Cathy Howell (Leeds Teaching Hospital NHS Trust), Allan Ndawula, Stella Bonabana, Dr Judith Auma, Dorothy Gashuga, Claire Horder (Knowledge for Change)