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Evaluating innovative technologies and approaches to addressing cervical cancer in the Republic of Mozambique

U.S. Lead: Dr. Kathleen Schmeler,, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
Mozambique Lead: Dr. Cesaltina Ferreira Lorenzoni,, Universidade Eduardo Mondlane
Implementing Partners: Population Service International, Rice University, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, International Gynecologic Cancer Society, and the Clinton Health Access Initiative

Blog 1: April 2019
Blog 2: July 2019

The Republic of Mozambique has one of the highest burdens of cervical cancer in the world. This is due in part to limited resources and health facilities that provide screening programs, as well as a shortage of medical providers trained to perform the necessary diagnostic and treatment procedures. There is a critical need to develop innovative technologies and build capacity in order to decrease the burden of cervical cancer.

With support from The United States Agency for International Development (USAID), The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center (MD Anderson) and The Universidade Eduardo Mondlane (UEM) will lead a consortium of partners to implement a new project in the Republic of Mozambique. They will join other consortium partners Population Services International, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Rice University, the International Gynecologic Cancer Society, and the Clinton Health Access Initiative to integrate cervical cancer screening and preventive therapy within voluntary family planning programs the Republic of Mozambique.

The program will offer eligible women cervical cancer screening with primary human papillomavirus (HPV) testing. Women who screen positive for HPV will undergo visual assessment for lesions, followed by thermocoagulation. Thermocoagulation uses heat to remove affected tissue and is portable, quick, and effective. The consortium will also introduce and evaluate new technologies developed by Rice University to improve the effectiveness of cervical cancer screening and diagnosis. These technologies include new diagnostics that may be cheaper and simpler to implement at scale.

USAID helps developing countries with their journey to self-reliance by strengthening service delivery and higher education institutions’ capacity for research and collaboration, enabling countries to build their commitment and capacity to plan, finance, and implement solutions to their own development challenges. Research can create commercial opportunities for businesses which spur local economies.

Partnerships for Enhanced Engagement in Research (PEER) is a competitive awards program that invites scientists in developing countries to apply for funds to support research and capacity-building activities on topics of importance to USAID and is conducted in partnership with U.S. Government-funded and selected private sector partners. A primary focus of this partnership is leveraging longstanding investments in voluntary family planning programs, as well as other efforts to address cervical cancer, to build capacity in countries to sustainably address the burden of cervical cancer. The program is supported by USAID but implemented by the U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. For more information please see the PEER website.

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