Slum Doctor Programme

SDP’s Cervical Cancer Screening Program
November 6, 2007, 11:40 am
Filed under: Programs

Slum Doctor Programme’s newest program, a cervical cancer screening program, is in conjunction with the Tumaini (Hope) Project in Nairobi, Kenya. In 2007 Slum Doctor Programme, with financial assistance from Bellingham investment firm Saturna Capital, began the screening program as a response to the high correlation between women who are infected with HIV whom eventually develop the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV). HPV is a sexually transmitted infection which, in most cases, leads to cervical cancer.


Worldwide, an estimated 500,000 new cases of cervical cancer are developed annually and there are roughly 300,000 deaths, making cervical cancer one of the deadliest cancers among women. The majority of these new cases and deaths occur in developing countries, where they lack the resources for quality screening methods. It is estimated that 95 percent of women in the developing world have not been screened for cervical cancer. Without screening in developing countries, cervical cancer is left to become severe and progressively worsen until, in its advanced stages, it becomes terminal. Symptoms of cervical cancer often do not occur until these later stages when it’s too late.


Although cervical cancer is preventable, it still remains a huge burden to women all over the world, particularly East Africa. In Kenya, according to the World Health Organization, an estimated 2635 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer every year, with 2111 dying from the disease. The cancer is the most frequent type among women in Kenya, with one of the largest contributor to the numbers being the high HIV/AIDS prevalence. Together, these two diseases have become a very deadly combination for women in Kenya.


Statistics show that the battle against HIV/AIDS in Kenya is reducing the percent of adults infected, but thousands of women still succumb to cervical cancer without proper methods of testing. Many times women are treated for AIDS, only to find out they have cervical cancer. With such a large percent of adult women in developing countries not being tested for cervical cancer, and the relationship between women with both HIV and HPV, it would be useless to save these women’s lives only to let cervical cancer claim their lives. Slum Doctor Programme has recognized this problem, and has started the cervical cancer screening program as a response to the thousands of needless deaths.


An effective and common method for performing initial cervical cancer tests is simply by visual inspections from medical professionals. Slum Doctor Programme is targeting 2000 women for such inspections in 2007/2008. The cost of such screenings is a mere 50 cents per patient. With the initial support from Saturna Capital, Slum Doctor Programme is now able to reduce the risk of women contracting cervical cancer, and hopefully save thousands of lives.


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