In Malawi, cervical cancer is the most frequent cancer among women of a reproductive and economically important age (45.4% of female cancers), with an 80% mortality, and numbers projected to increase over the next two decades.
There are currently no national programmes for cervical cancer prevention through immunisation or screening, contributing to the high burden of mortality - many women now survive childbirth only to die later of preventable cervical cancer. Inadequate access to treatment, ostracisation of women with severe symptoms of cervical cancer, and limited palliative care services are additional features.
The project will work out of Nkhoma hospital in Malawi and builds on an existing Scottish Government funded project of the Global health Academy which is working with the hospital and its 9 health centres to create a continuum of care throughout pregnancy and birth.
This project will develop a sustainable cervical cancer prevention programme through three linked elements:
Expertise in the team spans clinical, international and development projects and is a live example of collaborative working across NHS Lothian and the University of Edinburgh. Both Professor Cubie and Dr Campbell are members of GHA and will receive support from Dr Liz Grant, Director, GHA and International Advisor for NHS Lothian, and Dr Isabel Bruce, providing project co-ordination and data management. Clinical skills will be provided by NHS Lothian consultant, Dr Graeme Walker and Nurse Colposcopist, Hilary Brown, who have worked in Malawi in Obstetrics and Gynaecology, including Nkhoma. Colleagues in Nkhoma Hospital bring expertise in provision of reproductive and other health interventions in the local context, essential to delivery of the project.
More information on project team members:
Funding for this 3 year project (2013-2016) has been given by the Scottish Government International Development Fund for Malawi.