The Peru Cervical Cancer Prevention Study
PERCAPS was a 2 Phase pilot project funded through the Merck Investigator Initiated Studies Program. It represented the first project for POI in our new community based screening initiative. After years of technology based studies, we believed the important elements of screening technologies were solved. Of course more progress will be made but the big problem was that no one had figured out how to get the technology that now exists to the people who need access the most.
PERCAPS was a community based project that explored the utility of Community Based Participatory Research techniques in a mother-child screen/ treat and vaccinate program for cervical cancer prevention first in Manchay, Peru and then in the low Amazon jungle (Iquitos and surrounding villages).
Methods/ materials: HPV self-sampling and cryotherapy were utilized for the screen/treat intervention, and the Gardasil vaccine was utilized for the vaccine intervention. Community health workers from Manchay and Iquitos participated in an educational course developed and modified by the research team. The community health workers then decided how to implement the interventions in their community. The success of the program was measured by: 1) the ability of the community health workers to determine an implementation plan, 2) the successful use of research forms provided, 3) participation and retention rates, and 4) satisfaction of the participants. In addition the new technologies applied to the screening were also evaluated for their adaptability to large scale screening programs.
Conclusion: Community Based Participatory Research techniques successfully helped to implement a screen/treat and vaccinate cervical cancer prevention program in Manchay and Iquitos Peru. These techniques may help overcome barriers to large-scale preventive health-care interventions.
This work has produced 3 manuscripts and lead to the Chinese Cervical Cancer Prevention Study (CHICAPS), which is currently ongoing. (see references Levinson K and Abuelo C)
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