Multimodality screening and prevention of cervical cancer in sub-Saharan Africa: a collaborative model.

Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

Current opinion in obstetrics & gynecology


PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Although cervical cancer continues to decrease in incidence throughout the developed world because of rigorous screening and vaccination campaigns, the disease remains a major cause of cancer-related morbidity and mortality in resource-limited regions including sub-Saharan Africa. This review summarizes current efforts to implement cost-effective and widespread cervical cancer education, screening, and community-based interventions in Africa and the challenges faced by local healthcare workers.

RECENT FINDINGS: Effective screening with cytology (with or without high-risk human papillomavirus [HPV] DNA testing) as well as HPV self-sampling remains problematic in African countries because of a paucity of cytopathologists and resources. Accordingly, visual inspection of the cervix with acetic acid (VIA) with cryotherapy triage has gained traction in mass-screening campaigns because of low-cost supplies.

SUMMARY: Public education to facilitate screening is essential. VIA remains a strong community-based approach. The involvement of technology in teaching local providers, advertising screenings to the community, and helping improve follow-up may also improve screening efforts. Ultimately, the best form of prevention is through HPV vaccination, which also requires implementation of ongoing public education programs.

Clinical Institute


Clinical Institute

Women & Children