A team of scientists led by Dr. Joseph Ngonzi of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Mbarara University of Science and Technology has successfully piloted the use of a convenient pocket-sized cervical cancer screening device called a Gynocular at the Mbarara Regional Referral Hospital in western Uganda.
The burden of Cervical Cancer
In low-income countries like Uganda, the majority of women live in rural areas with limited access to referral health facilities. Cervical cancer is the second most common cancer in women and the mortality burden is highest among low and middle-income countries. Only 5% of women in developing countries access organized cancer screening programs as compared to 75% in developed countries.
“Cervical Cancer is the second most common cancer in women and the mortality burden is the highest among low and middle-income countries”
Conventionally, cervical cancer screening is done using devices called Colposcopes. These are large, heavy and expensive stationary machines, which are confined to settings with electrical grids, a situation that is not akin to the rural settings of low-developed countries like Uganda. It’s against this background that the Gynocular, a portable, battery driven, pocket-sized Colposcope was introduced in this study to compare the level of agreement of its cancer screening results with the stationery Colposcope. The Gynocular was developed by Gynius AB in Stockholm, Sweden.
The study revealed a significant level of agreement of the results of the two devices, this ultimately implied that the Gynocular was effective enough to address the challenge of cervical cancer screening. The Gynocular, therefore provides health care personnel with a low cost, hand-held, battery driven cancer screening device that can be used in any setting thus increasing access to cancer screening.
“The Gynocular, therefore provides health care personnel with a low cost, hand-held, battery driven cancer screening device that can be used in any setting”
Dr. Joseph Ngonzi (the lead researcher) engages the Ugandan Prime Minister and the Swedish Ambassador to Uganda about the Gynocular