See & Treat Nepal

Towards a sustainable cervical cancer screening and prevention program in Nepal

Cervical cancer is the leading cancer-related cause of death among women in Nepal. Locally, especially in rural areas, little is known about the disease and how easy it is to prevent.

In January 2018, we launched the Cervical Cancer Screening and Prevention (CCSP) program in collaboration with Karuna Foundation Nepal to strengthen the national health care system and address cervical cancer. The 3-year program is being implemented in different regions in Ilam and Sunsari districts in eastern Nepal. From the beginning, Karuna Foundation Nepal has invested heavily in coordinating with the Nepalese government to ensure the sustainability of the program. A national guideline on cervical cancer prevention already existed, but the government lacked the capacity, financial resources, and decisiveness to actually implement it.

Screening and training
Simultaneously stimulating both demand and supply of screening and treatment has proven effective. Midwives have been trained to detect cervical cancer precursors with vinegar using the See&Treat method. In addition, health workers and health care volunteers – who play an important role in health care in Nepal – have been trained on cervical cancer screening and prevention. They spread the knowledge within their communities and urge women to get screened at one of the health posts. Next to this, screening camps (pop-up screening facilities) are organized in places where women have poor access to medical care. Here’s a video from Karuna Foundation describing our program: