Cervical cancer

Cancer is becoming a major public health problem in Ethiopia. Approximately 33% of all cancer cases in Ethiopia are cervical cancer. With late-stage diagnosis, treatment delays, and low cancer awareness, 14% of cervical cancer patients die prior to receiving treatment.

The cervical cancer “screen-and-treat” (S&T) project is a viable option for Ethiopia. The most common S&T procedure consists of Visual Inspection with Acetic Acid (VIA) followed by cryotherapy. Screen-and-treat programs using VIA are feasible in low-resource countries and screenings can be administered by a nurse.

The program has a high potential to decrease cervical cancer incidences and set the stage for community awareness programs.

Ohio State’s College of Nursing is collaborating on an S&T program in Gondar, Ethiopia, by training local nurses to perform the procedures.

The following aims will guide the development and implementation of the program:

  • Aim 1: Assess feasibility of an S&T program in two rural sites.
  • Aim 2: Test feasibility in number of nurses trained to screen and treat.
  • Aim 3: Test effectiveness of S&T program in the number of women screened and number of women treated.
  • Aim 4: Examine the levels of S&T program dissemination using the RE-AIM model (the degree of Reach, Efficacy, Adoption, Implementation, and Maintenance).

The College of Nursing has completed pilot tests and recently prepared two nurses from the University of Gondar to screen and treat for cervical cancer. Data collection, analyses, and additional tests will continue through 2014.

Efforts to combat all forms of cancer are also being supported through the implementation of a cancer register within Ethiopia. Pilot tests have been made and large-scale tests on the implementation, effectiveness, and outreach of a possible registry will continue in 2014.