The Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, Professor Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng, has launched three locally developed mobile applications software that will enhance cervical cancer diagnosis, prevention and management in the country.
They are the Cervical Cancer Prevention and Training Centre (CCPTC) Mobile Colposcopy app, the CCPTC Cervical Ablative Treatment app and the CCPTC Colposcopy Report Sheet app.
The three applications are expected to equip healthcare professionals with the necessary technology to comprehensively screen, detect, analyse and treat cervical cancer.
The applications were developed by a medical team from the CCPTC of the Battor Catholic Hospital in the North Tongu District in the Volta Region.
The team was led by the Director of the centre, Dr Kofi Effah, with active support from Dr David Olayiwola Olatayo, who is a surgical resident at the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital and certified JAVA programmer and web technologist.
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The software, currently available on Playstore, provides the healthcare worker with assistance as to the condition of a person whose data are fed into the system and provides recommendations and guidelines for prevention and/or treatment.
In a brief remark to launch the applications for official use at Battor last Thursday, Prof. Frimpong-Boateng underscored the need for such innovation, particularly in the healthcare sector, to ensure that human efforts in the delivery of health care were complemented to enhance healthcare delivery.
He said the world was being driven by innovation, knowledge and science, hence the need to embrace technological advancement for socio-economic development.
“Nothing happens in this world without science and, therefore, we must be a scientific-driven society to accelerate the kind of development we envisage,” he said.
Prof. Frimpong-Boateng commended the Battor Catholic Hospital for building a historic reputation in cervical cancer prevention, management and treatment and embarking on many innovations.
He urged the youth, especially health workers, to strive to unearth their talents and help provide solutions for the many challenges the health sector was facing.
CCPTC Mobile Colposcopy app
Dr Olatayo said the CCPTC Mobile Colposcopy app was designed for professionals who used mobile colposcopy for screening through enhanced visual inspection with acetic acid.
He said the application, through the use of artificial intelligence, was able to indicate the appropriate cervical cancer screening for a person and carry out further assessments.
He said the second application, the CCPTC Cervical Ablative Treatment app, had been devised for health professionals to aid the prescription of management to avoid errors.
Dr Olatayo said the third application, which was based on the 2011 International Federation of Cervical Pathology and Colposcopy nomenclature, took records in a telemedicine and captured images of the cervix that was saved in a database.
“This app makes it possible for trainers to supervise their trainees in any part of the world. It has a self-reliant version in which the health professional can independently record, analyse and manage his or her colposcopy findings,” he said.
Dr Effah said the centre had, over the years, done a number of things exclusively in the country to boost national efforts to deal with cervical cancer.
Some of them, he said, were community-based screening programmes with self-sampling and decentralised human papilloma virus (HPV) testing, offering routine cervical cancer screening through HPV DNA testing and the treatment of pre-cancer with thermal coagulation.
He said the hospital was the only facility in the country that had modern equipment to test for the high-risk or carcinogenic types that were most likely to cause cervical cancer by looking for pieces of patients’ DNA in cervical cells at a subsidised cost.
Dr Effah said the acquisition of a thermal coagulator through crowd funding and other forms of philanthropic assistance had helped in treating cervical pre-cancer in remote communities.
The centre has so far trained 34 health workers who are able to detect, analyse and manage cervical cancer.
The GHS remarks
The Deputy Director-General of the Ghana Health Service (GHS), Dr Gloria Quansah-Asare, lauded the management and staff of the Battor Catholic Hospital for their immense contribution to healthcare delivery, particularly in the management of cervical cancer
She said the various interventions introduced were in line with GHS plans to improve the health service of the country, particularly through technology, and pledged the continued support of the GHS to the hospital.