148799 Ghanaian women are worth it: The successes and challenges of providing cervical cancer prevention services in Ghana

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Amanda Adu-Amankwah, SRN, CMD , JHPIEGO, Accra, Ghana
Sylvia Deganus, MBchB, MSc , Tema General Hospital, Tema, Ghana
Amy Kleine, MPH, MSW , Cervical Cancer Prevention Program, JHPIEGO Corporation, Baltimore, MD
Marya Plotkin, MPH , Family Planning and Reproductive Health Center of Excellence, JHPIEGO Corporation, Baltimore, MD
Sydney Adadevoh, MD , JHPIEGO, Accra, Ghana

 

Ghanaian women are worth it:

The successes and challenges of providing cervical cancer prevention services in Ghana

 

Learning Objectives:

  1. Describe the progress of cervical cancer services in Ghana
  2. Discuss operational challenges and successes in introducing cervical cancer prevention services into the public health sector in Ghana
  3. Synthesize lessons learned regarding the successful operation of cervical cancer prevention and screening programs in an African setting
Cervical cancer is the second most common cancer among women globally, and is often the leading female cancer in developing countries. Many developing countries have not developed cervical cancer prevention programs because of competing funding priorities, low prioritization of cervical cancer, or perceptions that screening requires expensive histopathology. In Ghana, where cervical cancer is a leading cause of female cancers, data suggests that approximately 7 10% of Ghanaian women age 35 45 will test positive for pre-cancerous lesions. One hospital reported that 70% of the women who came to the hospital with cervical cancer arrived in advanced stages of the disease and were unable to respond to treatment. From 2001 - 2004, the Ministry of Health of Ghana, in collaboration with JHPIEGO, conducted a demonstration project to screen women using visual inspection using acetic acid, treat pre-cancerous lesions, and refer women with cervical cancer. The projects generated considerable success. Through the work of just eight nurse-midwives, an extraordinary 17,662 women were screened for cervical cancer. Table 1. Cervical Cancer Services Provided in Ghana, 2001 - 2005

 

Total Number of Women Screened

Total Number of Women Positive for Pre-Cancer

Total Number of Cryotherapies performed

Ridge Hospital

10,678

1,094

1,035

Amasaman Health Centre

5,084

251

242

Kumasi South

1,900

190

187

Total

17,662

1,521

1,452

 

The Ghana program has been a pioneer in introducing cervical cancer prevention services in Africa. In this presentation, the challenges, successes and lessons learned behind reaching close to 20,000 women with cervical cancer prevention services will be explored.

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe the progress of cervical cancer services in Ghana 2. Discuss operational challenges and successes in introducing cervical cancer prevention services into the public health sector in Ghana 3. Synthesize lessons learned regarding the successful operation of cervical cancer prevention and screening programs in an African setting

Keywords: Cancer Prevention, Cancer Screening

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Any relevant financial relationships? No
Any institutionally-contracted trials related to this submission?

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.