Lisa Zhou, Project HOPE's Cervical Cancer Prevention Program(CCPP) Manager in China, and Niki Zhang, HOPE's CCPP officer, (“Dynamic Dual”) traveled to Beijing with a full agenda and determination to successfully lead the Cervical Cancer Prevention Program as well as support the Chronic Disease Management Program.The CCPP is a prevention program targeted to tackle key issues on cervical cancer prevention, screening and early diagnosis to reduce the unnecessary deaths and disability among Chinese women from cervical cancer. Cervical cancer is the second deadliest cancer in women around the world with about 500,000 new cases each year causing about 250,000 deaths annually, and to my surprise, over 25% of those new cases are in China!In addition, the morbidity rate in China is 6 times that of developed countries.Not only is that an alarming fact, but more importantly, it is a huge opportunity for Project HOPE and our partners to collectively make a difference in China as cervical cancer can often be cured when it's found early.
This Dynamic Dual team spent most of the first week of June at the Xie He Hospital focusing on two key initiatives for CCPP.The first goal was to conduct a 2-day free screening event for migrant women workers.Lisa shared that over 200 migrant women registered for the free screening event and learned about cervical cancer and prevention intervention.The HOPE team was very encouraged about this effort as it was the first exposure for many of these women to this potentially deadly disease as well a great opportunity to participate in the screening and prevention experience.In addition to the screening, the Dynamic Dual team directly targeted training sessions for pathologists and OBGYNs from surrounding secondary hospitals around Beijing.The training covered disease education, prevention interventions, and diagnostic capability including hands-on clinical laboratory microscopic diagnosis for pathologists.
Somewhere between the free screening event and the health care Workers/Professional (HCWs/HCPs) training, this Dynamic Dual managed to make it to the 3rd Chronic Disease Management 2-day Conference.They didn’t participate, but joined the conference to support the Project HOPE booth and address questions and educate a subset of the 1000 participates that was seeking information and guidance.
My impression from interacting with the HOPE Shanghai team on cervical cancer is that there is still much work both on awareness and education for both the women's population as well as the hospital HCWs/HCPs on this deadly disease and our collective opportunity to close this gap. This is the only cancer disease with a clear cause and even clearer prevention and treatment solutions, but the key is early detection! Ladies, get your scheduled pap smear for yourself and all those that you love!
Connie Lieu is a Pfizer Global Health Fellow volunteering with Project HOPE China to strengthen health on non-communicable disease prevention, intervention, and management for patients with risk factors, and health care providers.
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