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Elective Rotation: Prevention International, No Cervical Cancer (PINCC)

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Contact: Michelle Mertz, Kay Taylor, MD and Carol Cruickshank, NP

Location: Uganda, Kenya

Cervical cancer is still a leading cause of cancer worldwide and it is totally preventable. PINCC is an independent organization out of Oakland that travels to areas of the world without access to cervical cancer screening. There the group of 1-2 doctors, a few nurses, and volunteers, works with all the local providers to teach them how to screen for cervical cancer. We bring all the equipment, including cryo and LEEP machines. We watch the local providers doing the exams and teach them what to look for during colpo. PINCC returns to the same site until there are enough competent people there doing the work, at which time the equipment is completely donated. PINCC returns until the local program is up and running. What we do is similar to colposcopy, but we use Lugols and acetic acid to look with the naked eye and predict pathology. We recommend follow up, or treat right then if applicable. We use the international screening guidelines. We pay for all biopsies to go to the local labs, and follow up on all paps and pathologies.

Great work. AMAZING learning (I learned so much while there as the ‘junior’ doctor, and got to precept about 200 ‘colpos’ and perform about 20 LEEPS (when the local doctor was unavailable).

YOU WILL FINISH THIS ELECTIVE COMPETENT in recognizing cervical pathology.

Currently PINCC is going to underserved Central America, Peru, India, and several places in E. Africa. I went to Uganda and Kenya. They are completely dependent on volunteers and donations.

AMAZING WORK. You will see how many young women our age already have CIN3 and feel like you are saving so many lives. Sadly you will also see several women with cancer.

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PINCC in Cameroon

From: Amy Marietta

I also participated in a trip with PINCC to Cameroon. It was PINCC's first visit to this country and served to establish two sites for cervical cancer screening training in Kumba and Yaounde. The program model is amazing, and there is a real focus on teaching nurses and lay health workers to do the screenings- it's a great opportunity for residents interested in international health, women's health and teaching. I will give one warning which is that this is not always great training in LEEP or cryotherapy- mainly those skills are taught to local physicians so they can become certified to do the treatments after the PINCC team establishes the site. But the opportunity to become familiar with cervical pathology and to teach an enthusiastic group of local health practitioners is amazing. Such an inspiring trip.