JHPIEGO Receives Gates Grant for Cervical Cancer
By Leslie Gianelli
received a two-year award of more than $914,000 from the
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to continue life-saving
cervical cancer prevention work in Thailand and Ghana.
Through the Cervical Cancer Prevention Outcomes Project,
JHPIEGO will produce new findings on the feasibility,
effectiveness and sustainability of strategies to prevent
cervical cancer in low-resource settings.
Cervical cancer remains the No. 1 cause of cancer
deaths among women in many developing countries. Each year
more than 233,000 women worldwide die from the disease, the
majority in developing countries, where women lack access
to affordable and effective services for prevention,
testing and treatment.
For 50 years, Pap smears have contributed
significantly to the marked reduction in the incidence of
cervical cancer among women in industrialized countries,
but numerous obstacles hamper developing countries in
maintaining such programs, which require extensive
financial resources and health infrastructure.
In 2003 researchers from JHPIEGO and the Royal Thai
College of Obstetrics & Gynaecology reported in The Lancet
that a single-visit approach using VIA (for visual
inspection with acetic acid) and immediate cryotherapy for
abnormal cells that may be precancerous is safe, acceptable
and feasible in low-resource settings. As a result of these
findings, both Thailand and Ghana have endorsed this
approach as an acceptable alternative to Pap smears.
With the new award, JHPIEGO will conduct an operations
research study to assess programmatic outcomes of its
demonstration projects in those countries.
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