Cervical cancer prevention and early treatment has received a boost in the rural South of Bangladesh. This was after a memorable and eye-opening visit by a team of experts from Dhaka on September 26, 2021, supported by the PRESCRIP-TEC project.
The aim of the week-long visit was to get an overview of the field activities in the area and to analyze the situation. It was arranged by FRIENDSHIP, one of the PRESCRIP-TEC consortium partners. The team consisted of seven FRIENDSHIP members from Dhaka and one representative from icddr,b, another partner of the PRESCRIP-TEC consortium. An interesting summary of the challenging journey and the activities undertaken by the team, follows.
A tough day that did not stop the team
The activities started on September, 27 with a planning meeting between Friendship and icddr,b Doctor Aminur Rahman Shaheen, Project Coordinator at icddr,b. from 09.00-10.00.
The journey started at 10:30 in a van, followed by a trip over the river by country boat. The day was cloudy and the river rough with a high tide. It became quite scary when it started to rain heavily with gusting winds. However, the boat reached the shore safely and the team were able to take shelter under a roof.
In Uthan Boitak FCMs take sessions on diseases. It is usually participatory session. In one participatory session attended by 32 beneficiaries, one of the participants, Morjina Apa, spoke about the need for doing visual inspection for cancer screening (VIA) in her area. Other topics discussed were the challenges presented by distances, transport, poverty and lack of money for traveling. During the session, the visiting team could also provide information about cancer and costs of testing.
More about cervical cancer
Cancer of the cervix of the uterus is a global health challenge and women most affected are those from vulnerable communities.
In more than 90% of cases, cervical cancer is caused by the Human Papillomavirus (HPV). HPV infection increases the risk of developing precancerous lesions, which might then lead to cervical cancer. It is therefore estimated that over 90% of cases of cervical cancer can be prevented by HPV vaccination (primary prevention).
Furthermore, early detection of a high-risk Human Papilloma Virus (hrHPV) infection and timely detection of precancerous lesions through screening (secondary prevention) are also necessary. Follow-up of those women with hrHPV infection and treatment of the precancerous lesions will prevent progression to invasive cervical cancer.
Location: FHS Field visit
Participants: Friendship and Icddrb
Date: 27th September 2021
Char: Ghorkumar pur Bazar
Ghut: Nowabenki Ghut
Photos of the activities of the journey
Discussion with beneficiaries in Uthan Boitak