|Organization Name:||Medical Ministry International Canada|
|Location:||Stoney Creek, ON|
|Project Name:||Cervical Cancer Screening on the Amazon River Utilizing New Canadian Technology|
|Purpose of Investment:||To pilot HPV screening for women in remote communities along the Colombian Amazon and tributaries using new Canadian medical technology.|
Medical Ministry International (MMI) will develop a pilot project with Medical Ministry International Amazon (MMI Amazon) to provide much needed preventative health care for women in extremely remote areas of the Amazon River. To date, MMI services have included primary, dental, vision, audiology, and preventative health care. MMI Amazon would like to expand its services to provide women with screening to identify women at high risk of developing cervical cancer, specifically screening for high risk strains of the human papillomavirus (HPV) that can lead to cervical cancer. Over a twelve-month period, MMI Amazon expects to screen 500 women from up to 20 villages along 140 kilometers of the Amazon, Loretoyacu, and Atacuary Rivers between Ronda and San Pedro de Tipisca in the remote Colombian Amazon Region. MMI Amazon is currently the only provider of health care services to these villages which have populations of the three indigenous tribes: Ticuna, Cocama, and Yaguas.
MMI Amazon is making regular visits these villages with local staff and they also host MMI medical teams. During future visits, trained health promoters will collect samples which will be transported to a lab for testing in Bogotá, Colombia. Results will be collected by the MMI Amazon staff and the anticipated 100 positive test results will be tracked and communicated back to women. MMI Amazon will ensure these women are connected to the available government funded services for follow up care. MMI Amazon has successfully bridged this gap in the Colombian health care system by identifying patients on MMI medical teams who required advanced cardiology follow up.
Due to the nature of this pilot project, it is scalable in nature. With a granting budget of $75,000, the pilot project could have the maximum effect with women being screened for both HPV and the sexually transmitted infections (STIs), chlamydia and gonorrhea. If ongoing funding becomes available, half of the women in these villages (1,500) could be screened in a three-year period.
Upon tabulation of test results, MMI will be able to analyse the health of the women in these remote villages compared with national rates for Colombia and design follow up plans of education and ongoing service relevant per village. Due to the remote nature of the villages, infections of HPV and STIs rates could vary significantly based on behavioural factors. With this education and ongoing preventative care, the entire population of approximately 8,000 people on the rivers will benefit from the pilot project. Cultural changes take time. However, with a preventative health plan, screening, and follow up, a reduced incidence of advanced intervention is possible.
- Provide human papillomavirus (HPV) screening for 500 women from up to 20 villages along 140 kilometres of the Amazon, Loretoyacu, and Atacuary Rivers between Ronda and San Pedro de Tipisca in the remote Colombian Amazon Region.
- Connect an estimated 100 women with positive HPV test results to available government-funded services for follow-up care and intervention. (Based on national prevalence rates.)
- Compare data from MMI screened populations to national rates for Colombia and design follow-up plans for education and ongoing care relevant for 10 villages.