IJOG: Partnering with traditional Chiefs to expand access to cervical cancer prevention services in rural Zambia

10 February, 2019

Dear HIFA-Zambia and HIFA colleagues,

We have discussed previously how traditional leaders are a hugely important and underutilised resource for public health. Here is another example.

Citation and abstract below. Full text here: https://obgyn.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/ijgo.12750

CITATION: Partnering with traditional Chiefs to expand access to cervical cancer prevention services in rural Zambia

International Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics. (no pagination), 2019.

Kapambwe S.; Mwanahamuntu M.; Pinder L.F.; Chisele S.; Chirwa S.C.; Parham G.P.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30580443

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE:

To evaluate how the influence of traditional Chiefs can be leveraged to promote access to cervical cancer prevention services in rural Zambia.

METHODS:

A retrospective review of outcome data was conducted for all screening outreach events that occurred in Zambian Chiefdoms between October 4, 2015, and October 3, 2016. Members of the health promotion team of the Cervical Cancer Prevention Program in Zambia visited local Chiefs to inform them of the importance of cervical cancer prevention. The local Chiefs then summoned adults living within their Chiefdoms to assemble for cervical cancer prevention health talks. Screen-and-treat services were implemented within each of the Chiefdoms over a 1-week period.

RESULTS:

VIA-enhanced digital imaging of the cervix (digital cervicography) was offered to 8399 women in ten Chiefdoms as part of a village-based screening (VBS) program. In all, 419 (4.9%) women had positive screening test results. Of these women, 276 (65.8%) were treated immediately with thermocoagulation and 143 (34.1%) were referred to provincial government hospitals to undergo either the loop electrosurgical excision procedure/large loop excision of the transformation zone (n=109, 26.0%) or punch biopsy (n=34, 8.1%).

CONCLUSION:

The influence of traditional Chiefs was leveraged to facilitate access to cervical cancer prevention services in rural Zambia.

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Best wishes, Neil

Working together for health in Zambia - Join HIFA-Zambia: http://www.hifa.org/forums/hifa-zambia

HIFA profile: Neil Pakenham-Walsh is the coordinator of HIFA-Zambia and the HIFA campaign (Healthcare Information For All - www.hifa.org ) and current chair of the Dgroups Foundation (www.dgroups.info), which supports 700 communities of practice for international development, social justice and global health. Twitter: @hifa_org FB: facebook.com/HIFAdotORG neil@hifa.org