The Ishaka Health Plan in Uganda was one of five selected programs to win support from the Caroline van der Wal Impact Award 2019. We at GHLiaisons support this HPV research plan nomination. The team plans to conduct an HPV awareness research program. If you’re interested in helping our GHLiaisons colleagues, go to the website and vote. It’s in Dutch so use the translator to get through.
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Information can prevent cervical cancer
In 1998 VSO expert Ingrid van ‘t Hof in Uganda helped set up the Ishaka Health Plan (IHP), aimed at providing affordable and accessible healthcare. The aim of the Ishaka Health Plan is to get the population to seek medical help at an earlier stage. They do this mainly by providing information. One of the projects of the Ishaka Health Plan is aimed at promoting awareness about cervical cancer. They provide information to health professionals, women and girls in communities and schools about the causes, symptoms and the prevalence of cervical cancer.
This project has been nominated for the Caroline van der Wal Impact Award 2019.
Although the Ugandan government provides the HPV vaccine (for the prevention of cervical cancer) for free, there are many fears and misconceptions about the vaccine and privacy during the screening in the communities. Due to lack of budget, the government failed to inform the population properly and thus to remove the misconceptions. Unused vaccines are now being destroyed on a large scale.
In the Bushenyi district, there are numerous campaigns aimed at conditions such as HIV / AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria and the needs of mothers and children, but little education is focused on cervical cancer and the HPV vaccine. Because cervical cancer is three times more common in Uganda than in the rest of the world, this has major consequences for the reproductive and sexual health of the population.
IHP provides a lot of information to health professionals and, for example, in schools. With this they want to change the image around the vaccine and the privacy of the screening. With the aim of prevention and treatment of cervical cancer at an earlier stage.
Read here about the Ishaka Health Plan.