The Cervical Cancer Prevention Program in Zambia (CCPPZ) responds to women’s need for cervical cancer services in Zambia, and the African region.
Cervical cancer kills more women in Africa than any other cancer, and primarily strikes women aged 25 to 45 years.
The burden of cancer of the cervix in Zambia is one of the highest in sub-Saharan Africa, with the HIV epidemic driving up cases.
In 2005, CIDRZ conducted a pilot study evaluating cervical cancer prevalence among HIV-positive women seeking care at University Teaching Hospital (UTH) in the capital Lusaka, Zambia. The investigation found evidence of cervical cancer in one-fifth of the women, with evidence of high-grade pre-cancerous lesions in one-third. In 2006, with funding from PEPFAR and the U.S. CDC partnership, Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon, Susan J. Komen and others CIDRZ collaborated with the Zambian Ministry of Health and UTH to establish the Cervical Cancer Prevention Programme in Zambia.
Originally targeting only HIV-positive women, the programme quickly expanded to offer “Screen and Treat” visual inspection with acetic acid (VIA) digital cervicography screening services to all Zambian women, regardless of HIV status. This low-cost, nurse-led technique enables pre-cancerous lesions to be visualised and stopped with cryotherapy (frozen with gas) in a single visit. Women found with advanced lesions are referred for Loop Electrosurgical Excision (LEEP) or surgical consultation at the tertiary referral hospital UTH in Lusaka.
In 2015, CIDRZ CCPPZ Director, Dr Sharon Kapambwe was seconded to the Ministry of Health to become Director of Women’s Cancer Control and support sustainable national scale-up of cervical cancer screening and treatment and breast cancer screening services throughout the country. University of Zambia School of Medicine residents in obstetrics and Gynaecology now rotate through the screening programme and CIDRZ has partnered with government in the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) vaccination Demonstration Programme of young girls to prevent acquisition of HPV, the virus that leads to development of cervical cancer.
As of December 2016, 277,887 Zambian women have received cervical cancer screening with 52,194 women receiving screening in 2016 alone.
In 2015 CIDRZ also initiated the Breast Cancer Prevention Programme of Zambia with the aim to improve women’s survival by increasing general knowledge about breast cancer, providing breast exam screening services and expanding access to early diagnosis and treatment. Breast cancer screening is being introduced into cervical cancer screening sites, and to date breast cancer screening services can be received at George, Chawama, Kanyama, Mtendere and University Teaching Hospital in Lusaka. Breast cancer diagnostic clinics have also been established at Kabwe General Hospital in Central Province and UTH in Lusaka.
In 2015 over 3600 women received clinical breast examinations with 7% requiring referral for further investigation.
Free Cervical Cancer Screening Clinics are located in every Zambian Province
To date there are 49 screening and treatment sites for cervical pre-cancer and 24 LEEP treatment sites in all ten provinces with more sites opening. Training of government health workers in cervical cancer screening and treatment is ongoing and over 300 health workers have been trained in cervical cancer screening and data management. We also have provided training of regional health workers from Kenya, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Tanzania, Uganda, Mozambique, Nigeria, Cameroon, Namibia, DRC, Swaziland, Lesotho, South Africa.
NO appointment is necessary for this life-saving service. Below are the cervical cancer screening sites.
Lusaka Province – Chelstone, Mtendere, Chilenje, Bauleni, Ng’ombe, Kalingalinga, Chawama, Kanyama, George, Matero Ref and Chongwe Clinics, and University Teaching Hospital
Southern Province – Choma, Livingstone Central Hospital, Mosi-oa-Tunya Clinic, Monze Mission Hospital, Chikankata
Western Province – Lewanika General Hospital, Kaoma, Yeta, Shangombo
Northwestern Province – Solwezi General Hospital, Kasempa (Mukinge), Mwinilunga
Central Province – Ngungu Clinic, Kabwe General Hospital, Mumbwa, Kapiri, Serenje
Copperbelt Province – Chingola, Ndola and Kitwe Central Hospitals, Ronald Ross Hospital, St Theresa Mission Hospital
Eastern Province – Chipata General Hospital, Lundazi, St Francis, Minga
Northern Province – Kasama General Hospital, Mporokoso, Mbala, Zambezi
Luapula Province – Mansa General Hospital, Kawambwa, Samfya
Muchinga Province – Chinsali, Mpika, Nakonde