Sunday December 15, 2019

New Smartphone App Screens Women for Cervical Cancer in Tanzania

Every year more than 4,000 women die from cervical cancer in Tanzania

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Oncology department of a hospital in Kenya, VOA

November 13, 2016: According to United States Centers for Illness Control, in developing countries, a woman dies every two minutes from cervical cancer. Cervical cancer is the leading cause of deaths from cancer among women. This is a tragedy as cervical cancer is preventable as well as treatable.

This situation usually occurs where routine gynecological tests are not commonly available. Every year more than 4,000 women die from cervical cancer in Tanzania, despite the disease being preventable. The Precancerous lesions can be detected in time and removed.

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A new smartphone application known as cervical is created in Tanzania to help the women of Tanzania fight against cervical cancer.

Dr. James Edward said, “When I take the image, I can zoom it and see it in good view instead of going there to the cervix  but when you take the image you can zoom in and see if there is a lesion.”

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For the women living in the foothills of Kilimanjaro, the burden of cervical cancer is all too familiar. A patient Frida Mtale said, “One day my aunt started to see a little liquid like she was menstruating. She went to the doctor. She was told it was cancer. “

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Karen Yeats leads the Kilimanjaro Cervical Cancer Screening Project in Tanzania. The team uses Smartphone to screen women for cervical cancer. Non-physician health workers use their phones to take a photo of the cervix which is then sent to an expert in the country. If cancerous areas are present, the expert transmits back the treatment instructions within minutes. The quick diagnosis is a boon to women in Tanzania.

The project is a government sponsored program, funded as Canada’s Grand Challenges. The project supports bold ideas in Science, business, and technology.

Health workers who aren’t able to make a diagnosis on their own use the app to send the photos to an expert in the country who receives a notification and in just a few minutes the expert helps the worker on the scene make a diagnosis. They have already trained over 100 health providers and screened thousands of women. Dr. Karen Yeats said, “We predict that by the end of the year we will probably be up around 7 to 8 thousand.” Because the Technology is mobile, she says her team will be able to reach even the remote parts of the country.

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The team has already received numerous requests to export the technology to other African countries.

Prepared by Diksha Arya of NewsGram. Twitter: @diksha_arya53

Next Story

WHO Urges South-East Asian Countries to Accelerate Efforts to Eliminate Cervical Cancer by 2030

Cervical cancer is a significant public health problem in the region

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Cancer, cells, metabolism, research, treatment, science
the workings of a metabolic pathway or "gauge" that lets cancer cells detect when they have enough nutrients around them to grow.. Pixabay

The World Health Organization (WHO) on Friday urged South-East Asian countries to accelerate efforts to eliminate cervical cancer by 2030.

“Countries need to expand vaccination, screening, detection and treatment services for everyone, everywhere to address the growing problem of cervical cancer,” said Poonam Khetrapal Singh, Regional Director WHO South-East Asia at the 72nd session of the WHO Regional Committee here in Delhi.

Cervical cancer is a significant public health problem in the region.

In 2018, an estimated 158,000 new cases and 95,766 deaths were reported due to cervical cancer, which is the third most common type of cancer.

WHO, Efforts, Cervical Cancer
The World Health Organization (WHO) on Friday urged South-East Asian countries to accelerate efforts to eliminate cervical cancer by 2030. Pixabay

Addressing cancer risk factors and reducing its prevalence has been a regional flagship priority since 2014, and all countries in the region are taking measures for screening and treatment of pre-cancers, WHO said in a statement.

According to the WHO, four countries in the Region – Bhutan, Maldives, Sri Lanka and Thailand – have introduced HPV vaccines nationally.

“We need to scale up both our capacities and quality for screening, treatment services and palliative care,” Singh said.

Vaccination against human papillomavirus, screening and treatment of pre-cancer, early detection and prompt treatment of early invasive cancers and palliative care are proven effective strategies to address cervical cancer.

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Member countries are working towards interim global targets – of achieving 90 per cent girls fully vaccinated with the human papilloma virus (HPV) vaccine by 15 years of age; having 70 per cent women screened with a high-precision test at 35 and 45 years of age: and of 90 per cent women identified with the cervical disease receiving treatment and care by 2030.

The WHO South-East Asia Regional Director said there is a need to strengthen national cervical cancer control plans, including appropriate strategies and guidelines for immunisation, screening, treatment and care, including palliative care.

WHO is prioritising cervical cancer elimination as worldwide cervical cancer remains one of the gravest threats to women’s lives. (IANS)