Comprehensive Cervical Cancer Prevention in Tanzania


Start date: 1 January, 2015 End date: 31 December, 2021 Project type: South-driven projects (prior to 2017) Project code: 14-P02-TAN Countries: Tanzania Thematic areas: Health, Lead institution: Ocean Road Cancer Institute (ORCI), Tanzania Partner institutions: University of Southern Denmark (SDU), Denmark Rigshospitalet (RH), Copenhagen University Hospital, Denmark Kilimanjaro Christian Medical University College (KCMUC), Tanzania Project website: go to website (the site might be inactive) Project coordinator: Julius Mwaiselage Total grant: 8,999,964 DKK

Project summary

The natural history of Human papillomavirus (HPV) in sub-Saharan Africa is not yet fully understood and information about how HIV together with other risk factors interacts with HPV acquisition and HPV persistence/clearance is warranted. Additionally, concern prevails about the quality of cervical cancer preventive strategies in sub-Saharan Africa.

Against this background the project aims to provide a better understanding of the natural history of HPV with a view to HIV status, measure the impact of a novel screening method based on care HPV testing and assess how continuity of care among women who are tested HPV positive can be improved. The study will be linked up with the existing cervical cancer screening program at Ocean Road Cancer Institute (ORCI) and Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Centre (KCMC); and will include 4000 women who are attending screening service or HIV care and treatment. HPV acquisition and persistence/clearance patterns as well as the absolute risk of severe cervical precancerous lesions will be determined through a follow up study lasting 28 months. The test performance of careHPV testing, liquid-based cytology and VIA will be described and the operating characteristics of the three screening methods will be assessed according to HIV status. Finally, the impact of a mobile phone intervention and a patient navigation model will be assessed and compared according to the proportion of HPV positive women who return for follow-up examinations. Additionally, the project will implement a research capacity building component focusing on transfer of knowledge and technology.


Midterm report 2019:

4063 women were recruited at ORCI and KCMC. Questionnaire interviews as well as collection of cervical samples for careHPV testing, ThinPrep and VIA was done. 75.0% (n = 3039) of recruited women were seen during 1st follow-up (14 months) for re assessment. HIV status of the women was obtained by HIV screening. A total of 7102 samples were tested in Denmark and Germany. A total of 429 women had their cervical samples also collected using self-sampling techniques. Mobile phone sms system was developed and used to send formatted sms to 350 randomly selected HPV positive women to remind them to attend follow-up clinic. The other group (n = 350) did not receive formatted sms. Qualitative data on barriers for attendance to follow-up clinic has been collected. There are a total of 8 published articles in peer-reviewed journals from the project data. The project team is in progress on writing of additional 8 manuscripts.

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