Cervical Cancer Screening Clinic Congo DRC 2015

At the end of July 2015, I returned back to Congo DRC to conduct a second citywide cervical screening at the Heal Africa Hospital with Dr Justin Lussy.

The program was announced on the local and UN radio and 420 patients attended the clinic. Those women were given free screening through colposcopy examination for the detection of cervical cancer.

This was the second screening program ever conducted in the city of Goma, whose population stretches over 1 million.

Unfortunately, in the whole of Congo there are no screening programs for cervical cancer in women and this is the case in many developing countries. Here in Australia women are offered a free screening test in the form of a pap smear every 2 years. As a result cervical cancer in Australia occurs at a rate of 6.7 per 100 000. This is significantly lower than in countries such as the Congo where the rate of such cancer is about 10 to 100 times that of Australia.

The local women there are at a particularly greater risk of cervical cancer because of the high prevalence of sexual violence, increased HPV infections and lack of availability of any form of HPV vaccination program.

I wish to again acknowledge the supporters who donated some equipment towards the setting up of this vital screening program. These include Pindara Private Hospital (www.pindaraprivate.com.au) and donors through Health and Development Aid Abroad (www.hada.org.au).

I have posted some photos of my recent trip to the clinic: