Through the use of technological infrastructure, CIDRZ has developed an innovative and scalable cervical cancer prevention solution for sub-Saharan Africa.
Electronic Cervical Cancer Control (eC3) is a low-cost and high-impact approach to cervical cancer prevention developed in Zambia. The program uses traditional marriage counselors and health workers to raise awareness about cervical cancer in the target communities. Nurses then screen for cervical lesions, using cameras to replace expensive and complex cervicography machines, and can upload images to the eHealth platform for viewing and decision making help from experts. Immediate referrals to nearby hospitals are then possible.
The program has opened 49 screening and treatment clinics across Zambia and screened over 270,000 women in 18 clinics since its inception in 2006. The program is integrated into the public health system in Zambia, and is expanding internationally. Over 300 healthcare professionals in Zambia have been trained in cervical cancer screening and data management, and CIDRZ has also provided training for healthcare workers from 13 other African countries on how to deploy eC3 in their countries.
Why you should care
Cervical cancer kills more than 250,000 women each year, with the vast majority living in developing nations. The highest incidence rates are found in sub-Saharan Africa, where it is the number one cause of cancer-related deaths. This is largely due to a lack of physicians, poorly resourced laboratories and underdeveloped health care systems. CIDRZ has shown its program to be a successful and scalable approach to managing these challenges.