Did you know?
Experiencing one of the world’s highest cervical cancer burdens, Tanzania has the highest prevalence rate of cervical cancer in East Africa with approximately 33% of women at risk. In 2009, cervical cancer accounted for more than a third of all cancer patients seen at Ocean Roads Cancer Institute, the country's leading cancer treatment facility. The vast majority of patients are seen during the late stages of the disease, which considerably reduces the chances of survival. This problem is compounded by the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Tanzania. Being HIV positive increases the risk of developing cervical cancer by at least 50% as well as an earlier onset of the disease by 10 years.
IMA is partnering with Shirati KMT Hospital to roll out a pilot program to improve access to quality cervical cancer care and treatment services in the Mara Region. IMA is addressing training needs in early diagnosis and treatment in order to successfully screen women. In addition, IMA is working with the Shirati KMT Hospital to build community awareness of cervical cancer risks and successful treatment results to promote screening and treatment.
IMA is training health care workers in cervical cancer screening techniques using the visual inspection with acetic acid approach. Women with positive results are counseled and provided Cryotherapy treatment. Health care workers have also been trained on providing the appropriate referrals as necessary. IMA also collaborates with the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare in the development of national Information, Education and Communication materials to raise community awareness of the importance of cervical cancer screenings and early treatment.
Although the project is still in its infancy, accomplishments include:
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