By Lorraine Anyango.
Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Teaching and Referral Hospital (JOOTRH) is employing new modern technology in screening cervical cancer.
The hospital now using the HPV method which involves swabbing the cervix for a sample that is taken to a lab for examination.
Initially, the hospital did screening using the observation of the cervix using acetic acid.
In an ongoing free screening camp, the facility is targeting to reach out to at least 2,000 women. The two days camp commences today and ends tomorrow. Each screening ranges between Ksh 5,000 to Ksh 7,000 per woman.
“I call out to all staff at JOOTRH to come out in big numbers to ensure that they get screened and that our male counterparts inform the women in their lives to take advantage of this opportunity.” Mrs. Rosebella Apolo, Nurse midwife at JOOTRH said.
Through a partnership between Kisumu county and International Cancer Institute, efforts have been made to streamline the process at JOOTRH so that this referral hub receives patients not only from Kisumu County but also from the neighboring county and that are Homa Bay, Kakamega, and Migori counties.
JOOTRH has seen 300 patients with cervical lesions for cervical cancer and approximately 100 patients with breast lesions and we have taken biopsies “We have managed to process these samples in our lab and we have come out with a different diagnosis.” Kennedy Olweny working with the International cancer institute and based at JOOTRH said.
“We also found patients with precancerous lesions and these patients have been attended through at the same clinic, we have seen a total of 56 patients since one and half years ago, they left without treatment and could have converted into cancer,” Olweny said.
Results after pre-treatment were analyzed and 49 out of 56 have shown a positive result and the histological results shown from our lab indicate that they are free from converting into cancer in the future.
“We are celebrating this number of patients who have halted from converting into cervical cancer, we put effort to ensure that there is proper patient navigation.” He added.
The program can run biopsies for the breast and out of the data generated from our lab results for the cervical almost 70% of the patients are turning to be having invasive cancer.
“Since we started this, the demand for screening has gone high, event at the primary level at an earlier stage because most of the patients being sent to the referral have already invasive disease.” Mr. Olweny added.
Apart from JOOTRH the organization is now also undertaking screening at the primary level facilities within the sub-counties and reaching out to women of reproductive age.
Currently hospitals where screening is being done include Kombewa, Miranga, Chulaimbo and Manyunda.
They also see counselors and depending on the results, they are educated “This has been a success because a majority of people from the peripheral region are now coming for the service and knowing the importance of being cancer screening.” Olweny said.