Health Center Las Crucitas - Las Crucitas, Tegucigalpa, Honduras.
For several years, the Health Center Las Crucitas has been providing HPV testing for cervical cancer screening and providing treatment to those women with precancerous lesions.
Besides providing screening and treatment, this healthcare center focuses very strongly on the education aspect. Indeed, one of its rooms is reserved solely for counseling where a nurse will sit down with the patient to carefully explain to her about cervical cancer, HPV, cancer screening, and answer any questions or doubts that she might have. The patients attending the clinic like Fanny Romero or Luisa Benitez said that the counseling made them feel comfortable and provided accessible information on cervical cancer.
This sharing of advice and education is aimed to ensure that women with potentially dangerous lesions or that are positive for high-risk HPV, follow through on their appointments and are treated before lesions can become cancerous. When detected early, these precancerous lesions can be easily treated.
However, women’s care does not stop once they leave the clinic. According to patient Fanny Romero, “The nurse called me insistently when she found out that I have an abnormal screening result. I am very grateful because otherwise, I probably would never have come in for treatment.” Following up on patients with positive screening results is very important to ensure they have access to timely treatment and avoid further complications.
Fanny Romero (left) and Luisa Benitez (right), are two of the patients at the cervical cancer clinic in the Health Center Las Crucitas, Tegucigalpa, where HPV tests for cervical cancer screening are offered. Women with positive results are follow up and treated if needed.
Technical assistance to introduce HPV testing and improve screening and treatment for cervical cancer in Honduras' public sector health system was provided by PATH and ASHONPLAFA from 2014-2019. Las Crucitas health center participated in these system strengthening efforts and acted as a study site for PATH and ASHONPLAFA’s thermal ablation trial for treatment of precancerous lesions from 2018-2019. These activities were funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.”