NIMR, US varsity donates cervical cancer screening equipment to ten hospitals

April 30, 2024

The Nigeria Institute of Medical Research in collaboration with Dr Lisa Flowers of Emory University, United States, has donated advanced equipment to 10 hospitals for cervical cancer screening.

The equipment includes Videocolposcope, Thermocoagulator Kits, Loop electrosurgical excision procedure machine and Evalyn Brushes for self-sample collection.

PUNCH Healthwise reports that the unveiling of the new technology, which took place at NIMR headquarters in Lagos, was seen as a milestone in the fight against a disease that affects thousands of Nigerian women every year.

According to the World Health Organisation, in Nigeria, 23 to 28 women die daily of cervical cancer.

Cervical cancer is a preventable disease caused by the human papillomavirus virus.

Speaking during the donation, the Director-General of NIMR, Professor Babatunde Salako said the equipment would help improve the capacity to test for cervical cancer in Nigeria.

Salako explained that some health personnel from the hospitals were trained for three days on how to use the equipment.

He said, “This equipment will enable these hospitals to screen a lot of women to detect anything that has to do with cervical cancer.

“The Screening provides the opportunity to detect early and take the necessary actions rather than detecting late when treatment becomes difficult.

“The donation of the equipment is a research project that is free and the essence is to support the hospitals even after the research is over to continue the screening.”

On his part, a professor of Gynecology & Obstetrics at the Emory University School of Medicine, U.S., Dr Lisa Flowers, said the research and donation were funded by the National Institutes of Health in the U.S.

Flowers, who is also the Director of Colposcopy Services at Grady Cancer Center, said the aim of the programme was to make a difference in the testing of cervical cancer through primary HPV testing.

“We came to Nigeria to make a difference in the fight against cervical cancer and we have worked with the team in Nigeria for six months after writing a grant to get funds from NIH to carry out this work.

“Our team and the Nigeria team have worked as a committed group to model this research work that can be shared in any other part of the world.

“The donated equipment will enable users to see hidden and abnormal cells in the cervix and make decisions on the spot.

“Unlike the pap smear which is just a sampling of what is on the cervix, the HPV testing will indicate if a woman is negative or positive for further investigation.

“The pap smear has done a good job in the past but it is not the best way to screen and test for cervical cancer,” she said.

The hospitals that benefitted from the donation include the Aminu Kano University Teaching Hospital Kano, Alex Ekwueme Federal University Teaching Hospital Abakiliki, Ebonyi, Delta State University Teaching Hospital, Oghara and the Federal University of Health Sciences, Benue State.

Others are the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, ⁠Island Maternity, Lagos, St Kizito Clinic, Lagos, Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital, Anambra and NIMR HIV treatment Centre.


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