Accelerating action on cervical screening in lower- and middle-income countries (LMICs) post COVID-19 era

Woo, Yin Ling and Gravitt, Patti and Khor, Swee Kheng and Ng, Chiu Wan and Saville, Marion (2021) Accelerating action on cervical screening in lower- and middle-income countries (LMICs) post COVID-19 era. Preventive Medicine, 144 (SI). ISSN 0091-7435,

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Cervical cancer remains the fourth most common cancer in women, with 85% of deaths occurring in LMICs. Despite the existence of effective vaccine and screening tools, efforts to reduce the burden of cervical cancer must be considered in the context of the social structures within the health systems of LMICs. Compounding this existing challenge is the global COVID-19 pandemic, declared in March 2020. While it is too soon to tell how health systems priorities will change as a result of COVID-19 and its impact on the cervical cancer elimination agenda, there are opportunities to strengthen cervical screening by leveraging on several trends. Many LMICs maximized the strengths of their long established community-based primary care and public health systems with expansion of surveillance systems which incorporated mobile technologies. LMICs can harness the momentum of the measures taken against COVID-19 to consolidate the efforts against cervical cancer. Self-sampling, molecular human papillomavirus (HPV) testing and digital health will shift health systems towards stronger public health and primary care networks and away from expensive hospital-based care investments. While COVID-19 will change health systems priorities in LMICs in ways that may de-prioritize cervical cancer screening, there are significant opportunities for integration into longer-term trends towards universal health coverage, self-care and digital health.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Cervical cancer; Women; Health systems; Self-care; COVID-19
Subjects: R Medicine > RC Internal medicine
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0254 Neoplasms. Tumors. Oncology (including Cancer)
Divisions: Faculty of Medicine
Depositing User: Ms. Juhaida Abd Rahim
Date Deposited: 23 Feb 2022 05:48
Last Modified: 23 Feb 2022 05:48

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