Women in Peru suffer some of the highest rates of cervical cancer in the world, with many cases concentrated in the isolated regions of the Andes Mountains, where poverty and a lack of health services are an obstacle to early diagnosis. As a result, it’s often caught in its later stages when a woman is more likely to die from the disease.
CerviCusco, a medical organization based in Cusco, Peru, works to prevent, detect, and treat cervical cancer in its patient population. Since 2008, CerviCusco has treated more than 50,000 women in resource-poor areas for cervical cancer — free-of-charge.
Helping the Helpers
Direct Relief is dedicated to helping those that help others.
To help advance CerviCusco’s life-saving work, Direct Relief partnered with the global medical technology company BD to train and equip healthcare personnel with essential medical supplies and extend life-saving treatment to more women in the region who would otherwise lack access.
Since 2014, BD and Direct Relief have supported CerviCusco in projects to help increase operational capacity, efficiency, and sustainability of the clinic and its services. More than 40 BD employees have worked with CerviCusco staff to implement an electronic medical records system, develop best practices in clinic administration, develop business development and marketing strategies for sustainability, and optimize their laboratory.
The program has allowed CerviCusco to detect cervical cancer early through liquid cytology testing – a method of preparing cervical samples for testing – in tens of thousands of women throughout the region. Preventative efforts have also included the vaccination of underserved children for the Human papillomavirus (HPV) infection – the causative agent for many cancers.
With a vision to continue the detection and prevention of cervical cancer through quality care, CerviCusco remains focused on improving its capacity to save lives and ultimately, help families.
In addition to CerviCusco, Direct Relief supports the work of 13 other partners in Peru, ranging geographically from the northern Amazon to the southern deserts of the country.