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Increasing access to health services for cervical cancer in Ethiopia | Millennium Medical College

December 5, 2011 by Eric G. Bing

Many assumed that Mohammed, a tall passionate young Ethiopian man, would follow in his father’s footsteps and become a farmer. However, when his father died from a preventable and treatable chronic illness, he witnessed first-hand the devastating impact of the lack of access to care that rural poor people in Ethiopia experience. This is the reason he decided to become a doctor and is now a 4th year medical student at Millennium Medical College in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. On Sunday, December 4th - the final stop of their African tour to recommit to improving health through PEPFAR and expand the use of services to combat cervical cancer- President and Mrs. Bush spoke with students at the school. The medical school is affiliated with St. Paul’s Hospital, one of five hospitals in Ethiopia currently receiving PEPFAR support for cervical cancer screening and treatment since 2010. While at the hospital, President and Mrs. Bush visited the cervical cancer program where approximately 550 women with HIV have been screened for cervical cancer since the program began. Of those screened, 14% of the women had abnormal results. Fortunately, nearly 90% of these abnormalities were diagnosed at an early enough stage that the women could benefit from on the spot treatment with cryotherapy. The remainder of the cases were referred for more advanced diagnostic evaluations and treatment in the hospital’s gynecological services department. While at the hospital, President and Mrs. Bush learned first-hand from women living with HIV how PEPFAR has saved their lives.

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