Target: Dr. Margaret Chan, World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General
Goal: Increase public awareness and help fund trial program for cervical cancer screenings in India
A trial program being conducted at Mumbai’s Tata Memorial Hospital and Walawalkar Hospital in Dervan is working to provide alternative cervical cancer screenings for women in India who do not have access to regular pap smears. Sign this petition and urge the World Health Organization (WHO) to increase public awareness about this new development and help fund these important, life-saving screenings in India.
Pap smears have drastically helped reduce the number of deaths due to cervical cancer in the U.S. However, the test requires trained personal and access to medical labs that are not readily available throughout all of India. Researchers at Johns Hopkins University have helped develop a cost effective and simple alternative to the pap smear which is being used in this trial program.
Doctors at Tata Memorial Hospital and Walawalkar Hospital test for cervical cancer by using a cotton swab to apply vinegar to the cervix. If after a minute the vinegar has changed the normally pink cells of the cervix to yellow or white, then this means that the screening has detected precancerous cells. These cells are immediately treated and removed by applying liquid nitrogen.
The screening and treatment is simple, cost effective, and has the potential to save thousands of lives. According to the BBC, Walawalkar Hospital medical director Dr. Suvarna Patil says that the most difficult part of the process has been the public awareness campaign that has taken the last eight years to change local attitudes about cancer screenings. But now that women and men have seen how this simple test can save lives, more and more women are coming in to be screened. Sign this petition and urge the WHO to issue a worldwide public awareness campaign to help fund these important screenings in India.
Dear Dr. Chan,
An important alternative to the pap smear has been developed by researchers at Johns Hopkins University and other institutions and has the potential to save thousands of lives every year. This alternative method is currently in use in a trail program at Mumbai’s Tata Memorial Hospital and Walawalkar Hospital in Dervan, India.
The method of testing uses vinegar applied to the cervix to detect any precancerous cells which if found, are treated and removed with liquid nitrogen. Doctors at these hospitals have spent the last eight years running a public awareness campaign to spread the word about the ability of frequent cancer screenings to aid in saving lives by detecting cancer early enough to be successfully treated.
This method has been adopted by other nations who have seen the same success in their countries. By issuing a worldwide public awareness campaign, the WHO can help fund this important and cost-effective method of screening for cervical cancer.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: gaelx via flickr