Cervical cancer remains the most common cancer amongst women aged 15-44; claiming the lives of more than 2,000 women annually in Uganda. This is a tragedy because cervical cancer is preventable, especially if it caught early.
PACE, since 2012, has been providing screening, and preventive treatment for cervical cancer through the ProFam network of clinics, and community outreaches. The program supports screening for precancerous lesions by Visual Inspection of the vagina using Acetic Acid (VIA) and subsequent treatment of the lesions using cryotherapy. Of the total universe of ProFam facilities, 100 facilities provide the screening services while 40 facilities conduct early treatment using cryotherapy machines provided by the project. Clients from facilities without the machines are referred for treatment at the network facilities that have them. The facilities with machines have been distributed in a way that allows for easy access by all clients.
On top of training in VIA and cyrotherapy, providers at ProFam clinics are trained to counsel women about the causes of cancer, namely HPV, and how one can contract it, how it can lead to pre-cancerous lesions, how to, and how often they should test for these lesions, and treatment of the lesions before they progress to full blown cancer.
The providers also provide referrals for the women with lesions that are beyond the preventive treatment to health institutions where they can receive further care.