Guyana
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Chinese Medical Brigade initiates cervical cancer screening programme

…also offers laparoscopic surgery training

The 18th Chinese Medical Brigade is set to aid Guyana’s treatment of cervical cancer through Human Papillomavirus (HPV) screening, adding to the numerous initiatives the team has embarked on during their one-year stint to boost the country’s healthcare system.
Dr Jiang Yuan, Obstetrician Gynaecologist of the Chinese medical team, noted that Guyana has a high incidence of cervical cancer that is being insufficiently treated.

18th Chinese medical team during an outreach

“After our medical team came this year, we found that public hospitals could only do Visual Inspection with Acetic Acid (VIA) screening. This method of screening is too inefficient,” Yuan told Guyana Times on Wednesday.
“So, our medical team consulted with Guyana’s Health Ministry and the government departments of Jiangsu Province [in China]. [They are] prepared to help Guyana conduct HPV screening for cervical cancer and identify high-risk groups of cervical cancer through HPV screening so that early treatment can be carried out,” Yuan said.
He noted that the team has applied for three HPV screening devices to be used across the country as well as colposcopy devices for early surgery.
“A cervical cancer screening centre has been set up at Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC). The Chinese government has completed the purchase of machinery and equipment, which will be sent to Guyana by container by the end of this year,” Yuan said.
“Chinese obstetricians and gynaecologists will help them carry out screening and cervical cancer surgery here,” he added.
Given the common correlation between being infected with HPV and developing cervical cancer, Health Minister Dr Frank Anthony last month had emphasised the importance of testing for the virus and having other mechanisms put in place to better address it in the country.
Anthony had made this remark during a handing over ceremony in Region Six (East Berbice-Corentyne) in which the region’s health department received $2.5 million worth of cryotherapy guns from the Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO) to aid in the treatment of the disease.
While VIA screening is used to screen the cervix with acetic acid for precancerous lesions in women, cryotherapy refers to the use of extreme cold to freeze and remove abnormal tissue.
In addition to these efforts, the Ministry has also been looking to increase the prevalence of HPV vaccinations.

Laparoscopic surgery
Meanwhile, the Chinese medical team is also advancing its minimally invasive surgery centre created some ten years ago at GPHC by adding a laparoscopic training centre and laparoscopic surgery simulator to its service offerings.
“Through this simulator, young doctors can be trained to improve their surgical skills and then operate on patients. The training centre has been set up at GPHC and has been used this year to train surgeons, obstetricians and gynecologists,” Yuan said.
Adding to these efforts, Head of the Chinese Medical Brigade, Dr Chu Xuehui explained that about 50 doctors not only from GPHC but also from the Linden Hospital in Region Ten (Upper Demerara-Berbice), West Demerara Hospital in Region Three (Essequibo Islands-West Demerara) and New Amsterdam Hospital in Region Six (East Berbice-Corentyne) recently attended a laparoscopic training workshop facilitated by the Chinese medical team.
This year marks 30 years of China providing medical assistance to Guyana, as a means of improving the latter’s delivery of healthcare services.
The 18th Chinese Medical Brigade is set to return to China later this month with a new team to take over responsibilities. (G13)