Battor Catholic Hospital launches mobile apps to fight cervical cancer

The Cervical Cancer Prevention and Training Centre (CCPTC) of the Battor Catholic Hospital in the Volta Region, in attempt to fight cervical cancer in the country has launched three mobile application softwares.

The mobile apps which are CCPTC Mobile Colposcopy App, CCPTC Cervical Ablative Treatment App and CCPTC Colposcopy Report Sheet were specifically designed to aid health workers involved in cervical screening with Mobile Colposcopy (Enhanced Visual Inspection with Acetic acid) as well as those who undertake cervical (pre) cancer screening including treatment of patients with ablation (cryotherapy, thermal coagulation) in the country.

Speaking at the launch, Minister of Environment, Science Technology and Innovation Prof. Kwabena Frimpong Boateng called on all Ghanaians to come out of their comfort zones and help create new things that would revolutionize the current state of the country into an advanced state with the aim of bringing life and hope to all.

Deputy Director General of Ghana Health Service (GHS) Dr Gloria Quansah-Asare, who was much excited about the gargantuan achievements chalked by the hospital in delivery of cervical prevention and treatment in the country, described the gesture exuded by the hospital towards the launch of the apps as “very laudable and fits into what Ghana Health Service is doing”.

While commending the hospital authorities for the move, she quickly indicated that a lot measures being implemented by the hospital directly synchronizes with the agenda of the GHS to improve healthcare delivery in the country.

For his part, Dr. Koku Awoonor-Williams, Director of Policy Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation at the GHS, noted Ghana is suffering from double burden diseases which Non-Communicable Diseases(NCDs) are part but hinted that unfortunately the country is focusing so much attention on Communicable Diseases instead of on NCDs which are rather becoming a problem.

He disclosed the GHS is currently looking for ways to actually incorporate the NCDs into its CHPs program to help solve problems of cardiac diseases, sickle cells diseases as well as the cervical cancer diseases among others.

While acknowledging the good works of the hospital, Dr Awoonor-Williams said, “Battor Hospital provides one of the answers that we’re looking for in the prevention and treatment of cervical cancer in the country that’s why we want to commend you”.

He pledged the GHS support towards the Battor Catholic Hospital in their unrelenting fight against cervical cancer, adding, “we are already in discussion with Dr Kofi Effah, Director of CCPTC on how we can sponsor nurses in the country on community/CHPs level to undertake the cervical cancer training”.

The apps were jointly developed by a highly intelligent team from CCPTC led by Dr Kofi Effah and Dr David Olatayo Olayiwola.

It was unveiled by Prof. Frimpong-Boateng during a ceremony held at the Battor Catholic Hospital in the North Tongu District of the Volta Region, on Wednesday June 13, 2016.

In attendance were notable personalities drawn from the Health Sector including the Ministry of Health, the Ghana Health Service(GHS).

Also present is the Chief Executive Officer(CEO) of Catholic Hospital, Battor, Simeon Amuzu, the Medical Superintendent and Gynecologist, Dr Bernard Hayford Atuguba, some nurses and students.

In his presentation, Dr Olayiwola indicated the three mobile application software is capable of being used to detect, prevent & treat cervical cancer by health professionals across the country.

He explained, for example,  the CCPTC Mobile Colposcopy app guides the health worker in selecting the patient that will be screened based on her age and recommends subsequent screening schedules.

He further explained that after the screening process, if a lesion is found,the health worker is guided on the treatment to give to the patient.

About the CCPTC Cervical Ablative Treatment app, he indicated, “Just before the health worker begins to treat the patient, the CCPTC cervical ablative treatment app interacts with the health worker to alert him of contraindications to the treatment option which he/she has chosen for the patient.

The steps involved have been broken down into 9 simple questions and the responses are colour coded GREEN which means that the patient can have ablation while RED means the patient is not fit for ablation.

After the user has gone through this 9 questions,the app automatically decides whether the patient should be treated or not with ablative therapy”.

Finally on the CCPTC Colposcopy Report Sheet, he maintained the app guides the user on how to analyse the images taken and provides a means to send such images to experts for further review and second opinion so that the patient gets the best of healthcare.

“It also boasts of an inbuilt camera which aids the health worker to capture the lesion in the cervix”.

He said it would equip healthcare professionals with the necessary technology to comprehensively detect, analyze and treat cervical cancer.

For his part, Director of CCPTC, Dr Kofi Effah called on government not to only expand the Cervical Cancer Prevention and Training Centre at Battor Catholic but replicate it in many hospitals across the country so that women would have access to the healthcare delivery whenever they encounter such problem.

The three apps are currently available online for all health workers across the country and can be download at the Google play store.

By Joseph Kobla Wemakor|Battor, Volta Region|Ghana

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