120 healthcare professionals from Moldova trained in cervical cancer prevention

120 specialists from primary health care institutions from all regions of the country participated in a training course on Cervical Screening between September 20 and October 3, 2018. They have improved their communication and counseling skills, as well as techniques for taking the cervical smear test for cervical cancer prevention.

„If a woman gets to die because of cervical cancer, it means that the healthcare worker also has to be blamed, as he didn’t do his best to find her and test her. Cervical cancer is the only form of cancer that can be easily prevented by performing a cervical screening test”, says Ludmila Bologan, obstetrician-gynecologist, one of the trainers in the training program.

Cervical screening is done every three years for all women aged 25-61 years and is free of charge while being provided by the family doctor. Family medical practitioners are responsible for organizing the screening process by inviting women eligible for cervical screening at the cabinet, taking cervical smear tests, informing about test results and the next steps.

In case that no pre-cancerous lesions were identified the woman is invited for another screening over three years, while in cases of cervical cells changes she is referred to the next stages of investigation, with monitoring of the diagnosis and treatment process.

Alexandra Anghelova is a midwife at the Health Center in the village of Avdarma, Comrat. She says that the hardest thing in this process is to persuade women to come to screening and gain their trust.

„Because of the mentality, some women are addressing to us too late, so the techniques of counseling and communication that I have learned in the training are very useful to me,” she says.

Diana Valuţa, Head of the Cervical Screening Coordination Unit, says that Moldova is taking  important steps to improve the quality of cervical screening services.
In Moldova, cervical cancer continues to affect more than 300 women per year, the majority of whom are in the age of 35-45 years old.

In September this year, more than 1,200 women, health experts and health care providers participated in a sociological study to understand why women do not access the cervical screening services, which are the social norms that influence their behavior, but also the issues to be improved at the system level.

The activities are organized in the framework of "Prevention of cervical cancer project in the Republic of Moldova", carried out by the Ministry of Health, Labor and Social Protection in partnership with UNFPA, SDC, ICCA, WHO and other development partners.