Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Work Stuff: Training on Cervical Cancer Screening

I saw this recent New York Times article about a cervical cancer screening program in Thailand, and it just so happens that this week I'm sitting in on a week-long training program that teaches local nurses, midwives, and health workers to screen women for cervical cancer. The ten trainees came in to Kédougou from surrounding towns and villages, including Salémata, my village, and are spending the week learning about cervical cancer issues.

The Kédougou training program, run by Kédougou Regional Hospital staff, and supported by Peace Corps Volunteers and Peace Care, is pretty comprehensive. There are sessions on cancer in general, anatomy, risk factors for cervical cancer, how to recognize pre-cancerous growths, available treatments, and how all of this applies to people living and working in Senegal.

The schedule for this week's training
For many reasons, including lack of education and resources, cervical cancer has a disproportional impact on people living in certain parts of world. (The United States isn't in the dark red zone, but we're not in the white, either.)

From the WHO's cervical cancer guidebook

If you're interested, do take a look at "Comprehensive cervical cancer control: A guide to essential practice," provided by the WHO.

Also, my own little PSA: As you prob'ly already know, human papillomavirus (HPV) causes all sort of problems, including cervical cancer. In addition to regular check-ups, there is a very safe, effective vaccine for HPV available for males AND females who live in parts of the world that have more developed health systems.

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