Australian NGO Cooperation Program (ANCP)
Eliminating cervical cancer in Tuvalu
Like many Pacific nations, Tuvalu does not have an established cervical screening and treatment program. Due to this lack of health infrastructure, it is estimated that Pacific women can die from the disease at up to 13 times the rate of women in Australia.
Australian NGO Cooperation Program (ANCP) NGO Family Planning NSW is supporting Tuvalu to eliminate cervical cancer. In partnership with the Tuvalu Family Health Association (TuFHA) and Tuvalu’s Ministry of Health (MOH), they are working to establish a cervical screening and treatment program.
In late 2021, Family Planning NSW trained six Tuvaluan nurses and doctors on how to use the Cepheid HPV Gene Xpert® Machine to test for cancerous strains of HPV, and how to use thermal ablation to treat pre-cancerous lesions on the cervix. Cepheid and the World Health Organisation provided the technical support, to ensure local nurses and doctors have access to the latest technology and clinical methods for cervical screening and treatment.
Taotao Homasi works in the TuFHA Office and attended the training.
“I have learnt new things and I’m glad to be in the team to help young women and make Tuvalu the first pacific island to stay happy and free from getting cancer of the Cervix,” says Taotao.
Thanks to this training, it is expected that over the next three years, Tuvalu’s entire eligible population of around 3,000 women will be screened for cervical cancer.
There is a great need for this project in Tuvalu, which aims for Tuvalu to be among the first countries in the Pacific to eradicate cervical cancer.