CCC was honored by an invitation to speak at the National Ethiopian Cancer Conference in August, 2013. Because CCC’s Director, Dr. Patricia Gordon, could not attend, CCC was delighted to be represented by Dr. Samson Mulugeta of Ayder Referral Hospital in Mekelle, Ethiopia, who was instrumental in setting up the CCC See and Treat Clinic at the hospital.
Dr. Mulugeta made a stirring Power Point presentation which included data from the CCC clinic experience at Ayder Referral Hospital. Dr. Mulugeta began with troubling data on cervical cancer deaths globally with 85% occurring in developing countries.
Ethiopia is one of the hardest hit countries in the developing world. Cervical cancer is the leading cause of mortality among Ethiopian women with 7600 cases diagnosed annually and 6000 deaths – and these data under-represent the problem given the huge number of Ethiopian women who are never diagnosed or treated.
Dr. Mulugeta explained at length methods for diagnosing and treating cervical cancer and emphasized the value of a one-visit approach such as See and Treat for reaching large numbers of women and providing immediate treatment of pre-cancerous lesions with cryotherapy.
He shared data from the Ayder Referral Hospital Cure Cervical Cancer Clinic for the period of April 24 – July 5, 2013, as follows: total number of women screened – 173, 12.7 percent had pre-cancerous lesions and were treated. The CCC Clinic is committed to maintaining a high rate of screenings, thanks in part to U.S. donors who have contributed monthly funding to keep the clinic sustainable.
We hope the medical staff at the national cancer conference were inspired by Dr. Mulugeta’s presentation to start their own cervical cancer clinics in other parts of Ethiopia.