Volunteer Reflects on Cervical Cancer Prevention in China
I climbed three mountains....The long trek made me think about the situation Chinese women are encountering in the far reaches of Hubei province.
I Climbed Three Mountains. Those four words alone seem outlandish, but that is exactly what I did when I traveled to Enshi in Hubei Province China. I climbed three mountains. I didn’t mean to climb three mountains. Honestly, I thought I was going to look at a canyon that was as majestic as the Grand Canyon.
The trek made me think about the situation Chinese women are encountering in the far reaches of Hubei province in which the city of Enshi is located. The necessity of women asking their physicians questions about cervical cancer to ensure they have a common understanding is critical to removing barriers that will culminate in the reduction, if not eradication, of cervical cancer among Chinese women. The Mufu Mountains (Mùfù Shān幕阜山) aka the Enshi Grand Canyon (ēnshī Dàxiágǔ 恩施大峡谷) are beautiful, as is the view of the lush green valleys, the river and partial view of the canyon.
Project HOPE wants to build the capacity of community health providers. And that was the charge for the weekend in Enshi, where over 80 health care professionals, mostly gynecologists and pathologists, gathered to learn the latest techniques in preventing, diagnosing and treating cervical cancer during the Women’s Health-Cervical Cancer Prevention Program Training.
It so happens that Enshi has the highest incidence of cervical cancer in Hubei Province, and it has the second highest rate of cervical cancer in all of China. With China’s incidence rate of cervical cancer being six times higher than the rate in the rest of the world, early diagnosis and treatment is critical. This is where Project HOPE comes in. In partnership with BD, a global medical technology corporation, Project HOPE has launched a three-year training, awareness, and screening campaign which should stem the tide and turn those statistics around.
So, where do I come in? The key words are “building capacity,” and that is what I will be working with Project HOPE in Shanghai to do. We are currently working on the business requirements to secure a hosted Learning Management System (LMS), which will enable Project HOPE to make eLearning courses available to health care providers. The LMS will be crucial to training health care providers in rural communities. The expectation with the cervical cancer prevention training program is that diagnoses and prevention of cervical cancer among Chinese women will no longer be an uphill battle. With adequate skills and resources, cervical cancer can be prevented.