Blog from Uganda

Project manager Jerica van Niekerk was visiting Uganda. Read about her experiences here. 

"My visit is all about getting to know better the partner we work closely with in Uganda and the context in which we work on cervical cancer prevention.

It is nice to see the faces of the people with whom I have spoken only via skype until then. I meet them in Kagadi, which is a 5-hour drive from Kampala. We talk a lot together about the program and the progress after 1.5 years and the sustainability of our interventions. The local partner URDT we work with has a good network and is a very important partner in Kagadi and in the district on education and health care. 

We also meet with people from the local district and the local hospital in Kagadi to hear what the developments are, where we can strengthen each other and what points of interest we can pick up together. An important point of attention, for example, is the referral of women who already have an advanced stage of cervical cancer. We also talk about how nurses at the local hospital can screen women even more independently, because there are more options. For example, if these women come to the hospital for other things and then can also be screened for cervical cancer in a low-threshold way at the same time. 

We also talk about the mobile clinic that leaves every day for the more difficult areas to women who would otherwise never be screened. And we discuss the technical training of the nurses and women who screen. The quality is good, but supervision remains important and there are also areas for improvement. In the capital Kampala, we also talk about this with the national Uganda Cancer Institute, a very important partner in training and supervision.

I am impressed with how the local partner has become a local expert in cervical cancer prevention within a relatively short period of time. They are also thinking about how to further embed the interventions into the existing structure for sustainability and where there are opportunities for integration with other services and expansion. This will continue to be a topic of conversation for the foreseeable future."