Team CCPTC unveils ‘new algorithm’ on its cervical cancer screening model

Wednesday, April 13, 2022.

The Cervical Cancer Prevention and Training Centre (CCPTC) in Catholic Hospital, Battor, Ghana, today unveiled an algorithm on cervical precancer screening based on the model it has been using since November 2017. The algorithm is based on a model that combines HPV DNA testing with a Visual Inspection Method [Visual Inspection with Acetic acid (VIA) or mobile colposcopy].

Concurrent HPV DNA testing and a Visual Inspection Method has advantages over using one of the tests alone because:

  1. every screening test has false positives and false negatives. In low resource settings where women are not screened often, concurrent testing reduces the risk of missing women with precancerous lesions of the cervix.

  2. it reduces the risk of loss to follow up as many women do not have to be called back for another examination.

  3. it simplifies ‘screen, triage and treat’ approach using HPV DNA testing. The high sensitivity of HPV DNA testing means many women will test positive who need follow up. Most of these women will not have to be called back for another examination to be done for them.

  4. the overall cost is lower as the only additional items needed are acetic acid and cotton swabs, compared to additional speculum, gloves etc if the ‘standard’ screening with HPV DNA testing followed by a visual inspection method is used.

  5. the above make it more convenient for women.

The CCPTC has already used this model across Ghana in the mPharma 10,000 Women Campaign which is giving free screening for 10,000 women in Ghana and Nigeria using HPV DNA testing. Some alumni of the CCPTC are also using it across Ghana.

We have a publication coming up on concurrent HPV DNA testing and a visual inspection method (VIA/mobile colposcopy) that shares our experience in Battor since 2017.

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