Stuart Myers (3rd from right) and Samuel Tong (1st from left) attend the inauguration ceremony for the Women's Health-Cervical Cancer Prevention Project last Saturday. Photo: Courtesy of Project HOPE
BD China and Project HOPE announced the inauguration of the Women's Health-Cervical Cancer Prevention Program last Saturday.
This program addresses significant issues in cervical cancer prevention, screening, and early diagnosis for women of reproductive age. The goal is to contribute to the reduction of deaths from cervical cancer among Chinese women.
There are 135,000 newly-diagnosed cases of cervical cancer in China every year, according to data published by the Peking University People's Hospital in 2009. The incidence of cervical cancer in China is six times the number in developed countries.
Cervical cancer screening rates are low and a significant number of women in rural China are rarely screened for cervical cancer. Many women fail to get tested because they cannot pay for the service, and because of traditional attitudes, ignorance and a lack of support.
As the accuracy of cytopathology reports for cervical cancer diagnosis varies depending on a hospital's capacity, the situation needs to be improved.
Supported by BD China, the cervical cancer prevention program was launched last September in Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou, Wuhan, Shenyang and Fuzhou, and will run until September 2014.
In the program, 480 cytopathologists and technicians who work in the cervical screening and diagnosis unit will be trained, improving the quality of the diagnoses.
Advanced cervical cancer diagnostic procedures and cytopathology training will be given to 360 gynecologists working in cervical cancer surgery.
Dr Li Bin, the vice president of the Obstetrics and Gynecology Hospital of Fudan University, said it was vitally important to train doctors and technicians who work in cervical screening and diagnosis as a part of the cervical cancer prevention program.
"Cervical cancer is treatable if it is found in its early stages. Patients have a 100 percent survival rate if the cancer is detected in the earliest stage," Dr Li said.
"Because of the advanced medical facilities in developed countries, there is a higher rate of cervical cancer being detected and a higher rate of patients being cured," she said.
"However, in China, because of women's lack of awareness of cancer prevention, and limited medical facilities and technology, cervical cancers are usually detected in the middle or late stages. It is important to provide training to cytopathologists and gynecologists," said the doctor.
The program is inviting 1,200 migrant women to have free cervical cancer screenings to enhance the awareness of cervical cancer prevention.
A total of 120 community health volunteers will be working in the program to participate in community health education, using the "Sister-Link-Sister" model to enhance public awareness for cervical cancer prevention, screening and early diagnosis.
"We are proud to be part of this important partnership, which is already making headway in establishing a best practice in cervical cancer diagnosis and prevention," said Stuart Myers, the senior vice president of Project HOPE, who spoke at the inauguration ceremony.
"The program reflects our larger commitment to providing health education and building health capacities to meet the current and future needs in cervical cancer diagnosis and prevention in China," Myers said.
Samuel Tong, the business director of Diagnostic System, BD China, said that BD looks forward to helping China with cervical cancer prevention.
"As one of the innovators in medical and diagnostic technology in China, BD's commitment goes well beyond production and distribution of our products. BD is also engaged in sharing our knowledge and experience with the nation's health care professionals in cervical cancer diagnosis, and using our resources to increase understanding of the importance of diagnosis and prevention of cervical cancer among China's women."
Tong said that over 70 percent women in Western countries have regular screenings to prevent cervical cancer, however the figure is lower than 10 percent in China.
"We will provide help and free screenings to more low-income women, or the female migrant population," he said. "We are pleased to work with Project HOPE, a highly respected partner, to move forward an agenda that is critical to the long-term health and wellness of women in China," Tong said.
BD is a leading global medical technology company that develops, manufactures, and sells medical equipment, instrument systems, and reagents. The company is dedicated to improving people's health throughout the world. BD is focused on improving drug delivery, enhancing the quality and speed of diagnosis of infectious diseases and cancers, and advancing research, discovery, and the production of new drugs and vaccines. BD's capabilities are instrumental in combating many of the world's most pressing diseases. Founded in 1897 in New York, headquartered in Franklin Lakes, New Jersey, and operating worldwide, BD comprises three sections: BD Medical, BD Diagnostics, and BD Biosciences. BD manufactures and sells a wide range of products including medical consumables, laboratory equipment, antibodies, reagents, and diagnostics. The company serves healthcare institutions, life science researchers, clinical laboratories, the pharmaceutical industry and the general public. For more information, please visit: www.bd.com
About Project HOPE
Founded in 1958, Project HOPE (Health Opportunities for People Everywhere) is dedicated to providing lasting solutions to health problems with its mission of helping people to help themselves. Identified with the SS HOPE, the world's first peacetime hospital ship, Project HOPE now provides medical training and health education, as well as conducting humanitarian assistance programs in more than 35 countries.
In 1983, Project HOPE became the first international non-profit health organization to work in China. HOPE China has stayed at the forefront of Chinese health care development for three decades by maintaining its commitment to health care education and training through a number of valuable programs, implemented throughout China. These central themes of HOPE China - patient care, health education and capacity building - provide direction for a new generation of projects aiming to bring health care in China to international standards. For more information, please visit: www.projecthope.org