In Nigeria, women were dying unnecessarily from Cervical Cancer, mainly from a lack of affordable, accessible and reliable services to identify at risk cases, provide screening and treat early cases. To address this, the Society for Family Health, with the support of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in 2012 commenced the provision of an easy low cost method of cervical cancer screening using the Visual Inspection with Acetic Acid (VIA). This is a simple swab and screen approach that identifies precancerous cells on the cervix, and to address the possibility of loss to follow up, provides a same-day treatment service using cryotherapy to treat the precancerous lesions.
In the fight against cervical cancer, SFH continues to bring forward integrated approaches to practical, safe and affordable screening so that women can access these vital services at every opportunity. We have partnered with private clinics within the SFH Health Family Networkfranchise group of clinics and hospitals to develop a national approach to reach woman, even in the most remote places, by training doctors, nurses and other health care workers to provide these services. Currently, SFH has 27 screening centres providing VIA services, 10 cryotherapy centres, and 2 outreach teams in Kaduna and Oyo states (Ibadan) from where we reach all the surrounding states. Over the past 4 years, 30,469 women have screened through these centres and hundreds have received cryotherapy services, saving them from future cervical cancer.
Yesterday, on World Cancer Day, Society for Family Health proudly confirmed its commitment to health care providers, the women we serve and all women in general to address cancer, even in the most remote of places. Follow the conversation on addressing on radio stations, and online: use the hashtags #WorldCancerDay, #WeCanICan. Follow @SFHNigeria.
Society for Family Health…Creating Change, Enhancing Lives
SFH partners with Marie Stopes International and the Planned Parenthood Federation in Nigeria to implement the Cervical Cancer Screening and Preventative Therapy Project. Since 2012, the project has, with the support of the Federal Ministry of Health, provided screening to thousands of Nigerian women for cervical cancer. The Project is funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.