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Video launch: “When a Mother Lives” shows new solutions to prevent cervical cancer

Just in time for International Women’s Day (March 8), a team of doctors and researchers with an interest in global health is launching a video on innovative work being done in Uganda to prevent cervical cancer.

When a Mother Lives” gives an overview of the work of ASPIRE (Advances in Screening and Prevention in Reproductive Cancers) in Uganda to address cervical cancer. The majority of cervical cancer cases are caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV), a common sexually transmitted infection.

In Uganda, cervical cancer is the most common type of cancer, representing 40% of all cancers. In countries like Uganda that lack routine screening, many women go undiagnosed until they are in the late stages of the disease.

Since 2010, ASPIRE has introduced a pilot program for HPV self-collection, testing and cervical cancer treatment in an impoverished community in Uganda, combined with education, communication and training of health professionals. The program is unique in its community-driven approach which makes it ideal for areas with limited resources.

In many countries, women lack access to proper health care due to poor infrastructure, scarce resources, and fewer trained professionals. ASPIRE’s work to address cervical cancer in Africa will result in widespread benefits to families and communities in Uganda. We are also bringing back knowledge from this experience that we hope to be able to apply here in British Columbia.

                                                                                Dr. Gina Ogilvie
                                                                                ASPIRE Founder and Medical Director
                                                                                BC Centre for Disease Control

The ASPIRE team works in partnership with the BC Centre for Disease Control, BC Women’s Health Research Institute, BC Cancer Agency and BC Women’s Hospital & Health Centre.

The video can be viewed on the ASPIRE website. Funding for “When a Mother Lives” was provided by the Canadian Institutes for Health Research (CIHR).