I have been asked to be part of a team going to Kigali from May 28 to June 12. The main organization is Worldwide Healing Hands, and they are teamed with MD Anderson. Dr. Alan Waxman will be leading the group to do Colposcopy and LEEP training at the University of Rwanda in Kigali.
The burden of mortality and morbidity from cervical cancer in underdeveloped countries in devastating and preventable. Helping medical workers in these countries to develop skills, and curricula to prevent the disease, discover early stages will reduce the mortality from cervical cancer
Primarily medical students and residents in Kigali. The skills they will learn will be able to be used in their practices country wide to serve women at risk of morbidity and mortality from cervical cancer due to lack of screening, lack of HPV vaccine and HIV.
Projects such as these have a ripple effect. Learning colposcopy and LEEP skills and gaining confidence in these will be able to be propagated throughout the medical community, to smaller rural health centers. It is my hope that this project will assist the Medical school to develop curricula to become more self sufficient in learning and then teaching these skills
This trip was primarily a teaching trip. The target audience was the OB-Gyne residents at the University of Rwanda in Kigali. We had several days of lectures on colposcopy and LEEP technique, followed by practicums on models. Following this Dr. Waxman and I worked at the Muhima hospital, and outlying clinic in Kigali, where we saw patients for screening and treatment with the residents. While one of us was with a patient, the other reviewed slides, teaching cases of cervical pathology.
In Rwanda, it seemed to us that screening for cervical cancer is still in infancy, although historically there have been some efforts to do HPV testing. The population continues to be at risk for mortality from this disease, and follow up is being planned to support the efforts and continue teaching techniques which will reduce this burden. I felt very honored being part of this group, with Worldwide Healing Hands, and will return in a heartbeat!