Of scientific journals, peer reviewers and editors – Can Battor, a small ‘village’ in Ghana make any contribution to global medical practice? – Part 2 (follow up)

Sunday, January 15, 2023.

Follow up:
As I always say: Time will tell.

The manuscript the journal/editor rejected was finally published in the September 2022 issue of the Ghana Medical Journal:

Application of the hub and spokes model in improving access to cervical cancer screening in Ghana.

doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.4314/gmj.v56i3.2

The Ghana Medical Journal (GMJ) also published another model of the Cervical Cancer Prevention and Training Centre (CCPTC) in the same issue:

Mobile colposcopy by trained nurses in a cervical cancer screening programme at Battor, Ghana.

doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.4314/gmj.v56i3.3

The Ghana Medical Journal carried an editorial on cervical cancer prevention in Ghana and the role of the work of the CCPTC:

doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.4314/gmj.v56i3.1

Parts of the editorial read:

Cervical cancer prevention in Ghana

…Pap smear testing, colposcopy and biopsy of suspicious lesions have remained unattainable to most at-risk populations. Colposcopy has remained the preserve of highly skilled gynaecologists, who are very few across the country. This has meant that, when available, screening has been limited to a few fixed centres and has largely been opportunistic…

…the development of newer screening methods and the advancement of digital technologies provide a unique confluence of opportunities that can be exploited to impact this problem. When implemented, a combination of VIA and HPV screening can be a game changer. Mobile colposcopy and digital imaging can bring expertise to remote areas as all that is needed is a smartphone and connectivity. Furthermore, this is what the Cervical Cancer Prevention and Training Centre (CCPTC) at the Catholic Hospital, Battor, has been doing for the past five years.

In this issue of the journal, Effah and colleagues report in two papers aspects of their work showing the feasibility of establishing an affordable screening programme in the country. One paper showed that it is possible to train nurses to provide screening for women in remote areas using mobile colposcopy.3
In the other paper, they present data to show how a screening programme can be established on the back of the Ghana Health Service structure – from the CHPS compound and linked to the district hospital – the Hub and Spokes model, as they call it.4

…The group in Battor have shown, conclusively, how nurses can be used to provide essential health prevention to rural women. Indeed, it brings to the fore the whole concept of providing a skilled workforce as part of the essential function of public health. The time has come to see the expansion of our public health programs beyond the expanded program on immunisation (EPI), essential as that may be, to include the provision of preventive activities for the NCDs that are more intractable to treat /manage once they take hold…

…In areas with very few doctors or specialists, the adoption of innovative methods such as those presented in this issue may go a long way in helping the country move towards elimination of this preventable disease.

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