Cervical Screening Project - Solomon Islands

Summary

Timeframe

2015 to date

Partner

Solomon Islands Ministry of Health and Medical Services

Clinicians Trained

20

Women Screened

1,600

Aims

Test the feasibility of using VIA and cryotherapy in the Solomon Islands which includes:

  • training clinicians 
  • supporting the development of appropriate clinical policies 
  • implementing client information and promotional strategies 
  • data collection, monitoring and evaluation
  • quality assurance processes and documenting outcomes

Progress

  • Commenced cervical screening pilot in 7 clinics in Honiara and the Guadalcanal Plains using VIA and cryotherapy
  • Trained 20 clinicians were trained in VIA screening and cryotherapy treatment
  • Screened 1,600 women

In 2017/18 the project aims to:

  • Screen a further 2,000 women at existing and additional pilot sites in Honiara.
  • Three new pilot sites will be established in the Ysabel Province
  • Train an additional 8 clinicians in the Ysabel Province
  • We will also work with the Solomon Islands Nursing School and Nursing Council to determine the appropriate future delivery of the Cervical Screening and Cryotherapy Training Course.
  • Implement community awareness strategies to encourage women to attend screening
  • Village Health Volunteers (VHV) in Ysabel Province provided with Information, Education and Communication (IEC) materials and training on how to use these materials to encourage women to access clinics.

Case Study: Cervical cancer screening in the Solomon Islands

Roselyn who is 31 years old had travelled to the Good Samaritan Hospital with some of her seven children to receive her contraceptive injection. Her long journey started the previous day when she walked a few hours from her village to sleep by the roadside overnight and catch the morning bus to the hospital. When she arrived at the reproductive health service, the midwives were delivering awareness raising sessions to women attending the service and waiting at the hospital for other outpatient services.

Roselyn was motivated to undertake screening stating "I need to be healthy for my children". Roselyn is representative of the majority of Solomon Islands women. She lives in a village with poor access to health services and has never been screened for cervical cancer.

Women waiting

Women from Guadalcanal province waiting at the Good Samaritan Hospital

The midwife screened Roselyn using visual inspection with acetic acid (VIA) and her result was normal. Roselyn was very happy in sharing the news with some of her friends who had gathered outside the clinic, who, with Roselyn's encouragement, were also screened. An immediate result allows treatment at the same visit with cryotherapy. This is so important in rural settings where women like Roselyn, who do not have a mobile phone and cannot provide a contact number, are difficult to contact for results and follow-up treatment.

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