CERVICAL CANCER SCREENING IN CITY GARDEN CLINIC.
Since 2014 Dr Nick Zwinkels and Dr Erdi Huizenga have been discussing cervical cancer screening for Sierra Leonean women. The large number of advanced cervical cancer that was seen at the hospital in Yele where they worked together triggered this. They started to discuss the issue of cervical cancer screening with each other, but also with others. The realization that a national cervical cancer screening was needed became more and more clear.
They came in contact with the people of the (Netherlands) Female Cancer Foundation, who have a lot of experience in introducing cervical cancer screening in developing countries, and agreed to see how they could work together.
When Dr Erdi started working at City Garden Clinic in October 2017, the ideas of cervical cancer screening were enthusiastically received and encouraged. In Makeni also an other partner was found in World Hope International, to assist proper implementations of the plans. They have good connections and experience in working with the ministry of Health and Sanitation and working with the District Health Management Team.
Also the Smarter Hospital Foundation decided to support the project and donated a so called Cold Coagulator.
In 2019 Dr Nick, in The Netherlands now for further medical studies, came to CGC for a week during his holidays to further introduce the staff of CGC in cervical cancer screening.
In the mean time, together with World Hope International plans and project proposals where written and contacts with the Ministry of Health and Sanitation have been established. The aim is to start in Bombali District with a static clinic in City Garden Clinic and an outreach team visiting the more than 100 Peripheral Health Units (PHU’s) in the district. We want to do that to make a ‘road map’ for the Ministry of Health, how they can expand this to all other district in Sierra Leone.
With the tragic death of Dr Erdi in January 2020 the plans for the project need to be reviewed together with Word Hope International and the Female Cancer Foundation in order to establish the best way forward with this project. This review hopefully can be concluded before the end of 2020.