October is coming and with it the heat. But it is also 31 days dedicated to the fight against cancer. ENDA Santé joins this worldwide awareness campaign called: pink October and thus contributes to the achievement of the country's objectives especially in terms of prevention and management of these cancers.
Each year 570,000 new cases of cervical cancer are diagnosed worldwide. In Senegal, it is the2nd most common female cancer. In 2019, 1,400 women died from it according to the ''Senegal Profile for Cervical Cancer'', published by the World Health Organization (WHO) in 2022. Also, in our country, less than 1 in 10 women aged 30 to 49 years has been screened for cervical cancer in the last 5 years.
Regular screening has been shown to reduce the risk of advanced cancer by an average of 90% in women aged 35-64. Regular screening for precancerous lesions and their treatment in women over 30 years of age is, in addition to vaccination, an essential means of preventing the 570,000 cases of cancer that occur annually.
With this in mind, the NGO ENDA Santé, whose mission is to support vulnerable people, carries out interventions through two regional projects: Casamance research-program on HIV-resistance and sexual health (CARES), implemented in Senegal and Guinea Bissau, and Frontiers and vulnerabilities to HIV/AIDS in West Africa (FEVE IMPULSE). On board its mobile clinic, prevention activities are regularly organized in Dakar, Mbour and Ziguinchor to strengthen the provision of quality cervical cancer screening in hard-to-reach areas and populations. Between 2018 and 2022 nearly 20,000 women were screened in Dakar, Mbour, Ziguinchor and Bissau.
In addition to screening, capacity building sessions are organized for health care providers in Ziguinchor and Bissau. These training sessions provide them with tools for a better management of cervical cancer.
Between 2018 and 2022, 119 health providers were trained in visual cervical inspection techniques, cytology and staining and slide reading techniques, and cervical smear collection and HPV testing techniques.
ENDA Santé also supports the health facilities covered by the project. Through CARES, it has provided Ziguinchor and Bissau with 5 Cryoguns, 3 LEEP units (loop electrosurgical excision) and headlamps. This equipment has allowed for better management of cervical cancer and has improved the working conditions of health care providers in the project areas.
By implementing these interventions, ENDA Santé is aligned with international (WHO) and national priorities to eliminate cervical cancer by 2030.