Cervical cancer is the second most commonly diagnosed cancer amongst women in Bangladesh, with 8,000+ new cases reported in 2018. In response, Marie Stopes Bangladesh (MSB) implemented a GSK funded project to provide cervical cancer screening & preventative treatment plus HPV vaccinations in Dhaka.
Across Dhaka, nearly 1,000 women were tested for precancerous cervical lesions. Women in poor areas of Dhaka, including sex workers and women living in slums, were found to be at particularly high risk, with a third of women living in slums and half of sex workers testing positive for lesions and receiving follow up treatment, including cryotherapy. WHO guidelines state that to allow the cervix to heal, women should be abstinent for at least 4 weeks following cryotherapy, or at least use condoms, but for many women, this is not feasible. We wanted to find out: how can we make treatment as safe as possible for these clients?
This study aimed to understand how to better meet the needs of these clients with the aim of improving our services and increasing adherence to post-cryotherapy guidelines. In this two-pager, we share MSB's findings and recommendations.