Global Community Health Project

Project Site Name: Global Community Health Project

Project Site Location: Kedougou and Tambacounda, Senegal

UIC CGH Faculty Contact: Andrew Dykens, MD

Partner Organization(s): Senegal Ministry of Health and Social Action; Universyt Cheikh Anta Diop;  Peace Corps Senegal;Institut de Sante et Developpement

Project/Activity Summary:

In 2010, a partnership was formed among the Kédougou Medical Region in Southeastern Senegal, the Institute of Health and Development at Cheikh Anta Diop University, Dakar, Senegal, Peace Corps Senegal, and the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). The stated overarching goal of this partnership was to improve access to quality primary health care services within the existing local health care system. By identifying local priorities and health service gaps, Kédougou health leaders and health workers established that the aims of partnership were to: 1) improve access to quality cervical cancer prevention services by strengthening the health care workforce and delivery systems in the Kédougou region and 2) inform the development and implementation of cervical cancer prevention programs in other rural regions of Senegal.

The cervical cancer incidence rate in Sénégal (37.8) is over five times greater than that in the U.S., and Sénégal ranks 17th in the world in the age-standardized incidence rate of cervical cancer. Human papillomavirus (HPV) prevalence and cervical cancer burden in urban areas of Sénégal remains high. However, the prevalence of cervical cancer and dysplasia in rural regions is unclear. In Sénégal, HPV positivity is higher in older-aged women (over age 45) compared to other countries in Africa.  Despite the high value of cervical cancer screening and treatment, the estimated participation rate for cervical cancer screening in Sénégal is very low (6.9% of all women ages 18 to 69). It is especially low in rural areas as well as in older age groups (1.9% of women ages 40 to 49 and 0% of women 50 or above)