Report on Cervical Cancer Screening and Treatment Training Program

La Jolla Golden Triangle Rotary Club                                                                                                             

Kabul, Afghanistan

On Dec. 26-27, 2018 a team of twelve OB/GYN specialists from 6 cities in Afghanistan were trained in Kabul for detection and treatment of cervical cancer. This program was arranged by Afghan Ministry of Public Health- Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn, Child and Adolescent Health Directorate, Afghan National Cancer Program, and Moini International Consulting with the financial support from The Rotary Foundation through a grant to the La Jolla Golden Triangle Rotary Club in California USA.

By way of background, in 2016 a team of four Afghan OB/GYNs from Nangarhar Public Hospital and Nangarhar Teaching Hospital received training in Adana Turkey on a colposcope which works with a smart phone to take images to assist in the detection of cervical cancer. Training was provided by Fary Moini, a member of the California Rotary Club.

Technical assistance was provided by Abdul Qaum Almas who is now the President of the Rotary Club of Jalalabad.  This program had been coordinated by Moini International Consulting with a grant also from the Rotary Foundation to the La Jolla Golden Triangle Rotary Club.

The Afghan OB/GYN doctors trained in Turkey reported very favorable results from the screening. With further funding provided by the Rotary Foundation, a cold coagulator was purchased from a German company which is utilized to treat pre-cancerous lesions.  The Nangarhar OB/GYNs also reported that this device was very effective in treating cervical cancer.

Given the success reported in by the Nangarhar OB/GYNs, the La Jolla Golden Triangle Rotary Club working with the Rotary Club of Jalalabad obtained a grant from the Rotary Foundation to provide the recent training that took place in Kabul. Rotarian Moini, in working with the Afghan Ministry of Public Health, arranged for two OB/GYNs from each of the public hospitals in Herat, Balkh, Kandahar and Badakhshan and two OB/GYNs from each of two hospitals in Kabul to receive training on use of the colposcope and cold coagulator.

The training in Kabul was provided by Dr. Zakia Amiri from the Nangarhar Public Hospital who had previously been trained in Turkey and has been using the devices since that training. Technical assistance was again provided by Abdul Qaum Almas with the program coordinated by Fary Moini of Moini International Consulting. Both grants from the Rotary Foundation included funding for each participating hospital to receive a colposcope and cold coagulator.

Many individuals have been involved in the success of this program. California OB/GYN Dr. Bruce Kahn has been familiar with the colposcope and provided ongoing training through Skype calls to the Nangarhar OB/GYNs. Dr. Lauren Robertson provided training through Skype for the recent training in Kabul.

Various governmental agencies and hospitals have assisted with this program including:

  • the Cukurova University School of Medicine acting as the host organization for the training in Adana, Turkey,
  • the MOPH Reproductive, Maternal, newborn, Child and Adolescent Health MNCAH Directorate and National Cancer program in Kabul helped with overall arrangements of the program
  • the Provincial Health Coordination Directorate issued the letters of invitation for the December training to the participating hospitals
  • the Jamhoriat Hospital’s Cancer Disease Diagnosis and Treatment Center acted as the host organization for the training in Kabul
  • Maihan Abdullah chair of the Afghan National Cancer Control Program provided a lecture about cancer in Afghanistan,
  • Alon Gold, a representative of the company providing the colposcopes, provided assistance by Skype during both training sessions.

This was a great collaborative effort bringing together resources from several countries and with strong cooperation from individuals and agencies throughout Afghanistan.  But what is most important will be the lives saved through this collaborative effort.