The past eight years Duke researchers at the Center for Global Women’s Health Technologies, have been working to develop low-cost, portable cervical cancer screening devices called the Pocket Colposcope and the Callascope. These novel technologies have the potential to expand access to cervical cancer screening and diagnosis worldwide, especially in low- to middle- income countries.
Our hope is that through the WISH Revolution movement, we will be able to reach everyone, especially vulnerable women in communities who need screening the most.
Our Center has created a course through the Bass Connections Program at Duke University called Pocket Colposcope: Analysis of Bringing Elements of Referral Services to Community Care. This Spring Break, the class is tasked with introducing the Pocket Colposcope device in Peru!
What is the goal of this trip? To leverage the costing, policy and acceptability tools developed by previous teams in order to assess the feasibility of introducing the Pocket Colposcope as triage for HPV positive women in two different regions in Peru.
Our team has partnered with Project HOPE to assess barriers to the acceptance and implementation of the Pocket Colposcope from both the patient and provider perspectives in Cajamarca and Ventanilla.
Project HOPE, founded by former health minister of Peru Dr. Patricia Garcia, implements self-HPV screening in several low-income regions; HOPE has established: 1) the use of molecular tests to detect HPV through self-testing, 2) the engagement of women in the community (HOPE Ladies) to educate women on cervical cancer testing and distribute HPV self-testing kits, and 3) the use of cell phones to send results, appointments and reminders to women, and track care on an informatics platform.
Earlier this week, the students conducted interviews with the HOPE ladies to asses the barriers to HPV detection and cervical cancer screening. The list of barriers included: cost, time of procedures, transportation, gender of medical provider, comfort, fear, pain, and social pressures. We know that these are barriers for many women here in our communities in the U.S., as well.
In these photos, our team interviews women in Ventanilla Peru. One of the Bass Connections students, Lillian, shares how “inspiring and encouraging [it is] to hear about all the ways that HOPE has empowered these women.” Lilian reflects further on the “incredible strength and resilience that [the women] have and share with each other. For example, I was surprised to hear from yesterday’s interviews that HOPE has improved these women’s social relationships with their community, as well as their technological aptitude (e.g. learning about using cell phones).”
After conducting these interviews, Pocket Bass students observed as leaders of HOPE conducted a workshop with future HOPE Ladies on how to use the Callascope.
Lastly, Lilian shares that she was “inspired by the women’s enthusiasm to interact with this new device, patience, and focus.” She says, “I observed that the women had truly internalized and owned the lesson material, as they eagerly helped each other learn the steps of the Callascope procedure and raised questions throughout the workshop.”
Our WISH Revolution model empowers women to get screened for cervical cancer on their own terms, enables them to get treatment by providers from their own communities, and empowers them to advocate for each other to create a multiplier effect that serves more women and saves more lives.
Recently, the WISH Revolution made it to the Top 100 Lever for Change MacArthur Foundation grant. With your help, we can change the paradigm of cervical cancer. Follow us on Twitter to keep track of our efforts & learn more about how you can join our movement: https://twitter.com/DukeGWHT