Bangladesh: See&Treat

In the urban areas of Bangladesh, the government has a cervical cancer prevention programme. But in the rural, cyclone-ridden south of the country, women have no access to care. There, little is known about the disease and how easy it is to prevent.

Floating hospitals
In Bangladesh, FCF has partnered with the Friendship Foundation's floating hospitals and this has proven to be a great success. With their already existing infrastructure, small islands in the northern flood plains of Bangladesh are reached. The so-called "chars" are home to a forgotten group of people. The communities have little access to healthcare. Friendship's staff and midwives - trained by FCF - work hard to offer education and screening to these very vulnerable women. FCF has been working with Friendship since 2016 and much has now been achieved: women, and perhaps more importantly men, are slowly but surely getting used to the preventive care offered and to the precarious topic. The government has changed its policy so that screening can actually be done in the most appropriate and effective way for this remote and isolated area. A wide network of health workers has also been trained. All this contributes to the goal of being able to provide care that even the poor and hard-to-reach residents deserve and need, in order to continue to contribute to improving life on the chars together with family and community.

Currently, this project has been expanded under FCF's PRESCRIP-TEC project. In Bangladesh, as in the other countries within the PRESCRIP-TEC project, the focus is on 4 pillars:
- Communication: creating awareness about cervical cancer and screening;
- Self-test for HPV, which women can take at home;
- Artificial Intelligence (AI): screening for the early stages of cervical cancer will be performed in women who have a positive HPV test. This screening will use AI to help the caregiver make an accurate diagnosis;
- Immediate treatment: women diagnosed with a pre-stage of cervical cancer will be treated immediately. This prevents a woman from not returning for treatment.