Program In Côte d’Ivoire Provides Affordable Cervical Cancer Treatment

Writing in the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s “Impatient Optimists” blog, Nina Kouassi, a member of the Key Correspondents program who lives in Côte d’Ivoire, discusses cervical cancer care and treatment in the country, provided through a program started in 2009 by Johns Hopkins University and Côte d’Ivoire’s national HIV/AIDS program. “In March 2012, two referral sites in Abidjan and Bouaké were upgraded and began offering loop electrical excision procedure (LEEP) for treatment of large lesions. By September 2012, more than 7,300 HIV-positive women had been screened, among whom 365 with small lesions were treated with cryotherapy while 64 women with larger, pre-cancerous lesions benefited from an outpatient treatment for cervical lesions that were too large for cryotherapy,” she writes. “LEEP has many advantages including a high success rate, ease of use and a low cost,” Kouassi states, relaying the story of one woman who underwent the procedure (7/15).