By Matilda Atieno
The county department of health in partnership with Cure Cervical Cancer a non-profit organization has organized a see and treat cervical cancer mobile clinic committed to providing early detection and prevention of cervical cancer through HPV mobile clinic at Rutek market in Muhoroni sub-county.
The mobile clinic aims to reach out to the unreached women through a single visit model that provides screening and treatment on-site.
Cervical cancer was once a major public health problem and a leading cause of cancer death for women, accounting for an estimated 604,000 new cases and 342,000 deaths globally every year.
Today, screening and treatment have greatly reduced the incidence of cervical cancer due to early detection. The introduction of the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) mobile clinic as a pilot project and the first-ever HPV mobile clinic to be undertaken globally, will significantly increase the uptake of cervical cancer screening when compared with usual clinical care among women.
The residents of the Muhoroni sub-county are blessed to have been the beneficiaries of the HPV mobile clinic as a means to getting life-saving, preventive screening and treatment. The pilot project is set to run for 2 days Tuesday 19th and Thursday 21st October and other planned visits across the county, targeting close to 10, 000 women.
Due to limited resources, the regular clinical visits are not able to accommodate everyone but with the mobile clinic, free screening is offered to support Kisumu County to bear the burden of cervical cancer. Most often than not, the local health center does not have the resources or trained providers to perform cervical cancer screening and treatment.
Dr. Patricia Godorn, the founder and the MD of CureCervicalCancer revealed that the HPV causes cervical cancer which is almost 100% preventable through early detection, vaccination and early treatment adding that the Cure Cervical cancer mobile clinic plays a pivotal role in the creation of awareness, screening and treatment of cervical cancer through a single visit model, also known as HPV + “See and Treat” Mobile Clinic.
The clinic supports the fight against cervical cancer to reach the many unreached residents of Kisumu and in Muhoroni Sub-county through on-site treatment.
According to the CureCervicalCancer executive director Dr. Rebecca Lepsik, the HPV mobile clinic is the golden standard of testing and treatment of cervical cancer recognized by the World Health Organization and it can be done anywhere not necessarily in a facility. The clinic is brought closer to the women who are often busy and are unable to take time off to visit a hospital for regular screening and treatment.
In a mobile clinic, the client is taken through the essence of early detection and demonstration on a self-screening process using the testing kits. Each client is led to a private screening booth, equipment with a test kit and a container for safe handling of the sample to avoid contamination. The samples are then taken to the mobile laboratory for testing. Sample results are ready for farther treatment in cases of detection after one and a half an hour.
” For positive cases, we offer treatment on-site, however for patients with advanced cases, we have a referral pathway to the sub-county hospital or the county referral hospital (JOOTRH) with the assistant of a trained champion and a community health worker. Said Dr. Gordon.
As the client awaits the lab results, the Cure cervical cancer trainers engage the women in sexual reproductive health and hygiene talks. Irene Akinyi one of the residents of Muhoroni and a beneficiary described the efficiency of the screening process and was grateful for the health talk which she called educative and mind-opening to the women of Muhoroni.
With a team of 9 clinicians trained to offer treatment and 100 more community health workers to mobilize, educate and facilitate self sample collection for testing, the mobile clinic is the most efficient as the treatment takes a little under 3 minutes after detection.
In the past year, the county government in collaboration with the national government, the ministry of health has been offering the HPV vaccine to school-going girls of Ages 10-14years as a preventive intervention towards eliminating cervical cancer in Kenya an initiative commenced across the counties.
Being the month of October, Major cancer charities worldwide mark “Breast Cancer Awareness annually. However, with cervical cancer being the second highest cause of death among women after breast cancer, the mobile clinic is also significant in driving the HPV to see and treat method.