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Georgia Southern University Jiann-Ping Hsu College of Public Health Awarded NIH Grant to Evaluate Cervical Cancer Screening in Peru

eagleheadResearchers from Georgia Southern University’s Jiann-Ping Hsu College of Public Health and Georgia Health Sciences University Gynecological Cancer Prevention Center have been awarded a $143,912 grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to evaluate a large cervical cancer screening initiative in Cusco, Peru.

The researchers will use the formative evaluation findings to design and pilot a brief social marketing intervention to increase cervical cancer screening. The two-year project, funded by the National Cancer Institute, is titled, “Implementation Evaluation of a Cervical Cancer Screening Initiative in Cusco, Peru.” The Principal Investigator is John S. Luque, Ph.D., MPH, a faculty member in community health in the Jiann-Ping Hsu College of Public Health.

“A better understanding of knowledge, risk perceptions, and cultural attitudes among indigenous Quechua

women toward cervical cancer screening will assist in developing more effective social marketing efforts and

impacting cervical cancer disparities in groups suffering the greatest burden of the disease, thereby improving

public health in Peru,” said Luque.  “This initiative is one of several externally funded projects to improve cervical cancer outcomes for underserved women in Cusco, Peru.”

The idea for the project came following a 2011 initiative by the National Cancer Coalition (NCC) and BD (Becton, Dickinson and Company), a leading global medical technology company, to implement a cervical cancer early detection program for the benefit of 75,000 underserved women in Peru.

Cervical cancer continues to be the second most common cancer among women worldwide. In Peru, rough estimates place screening coverage between seven and 43 percent of the eligible population. With a goal to reduce the high cervical cancer mortality levels in the mountainous region surrounding Cusco, this extensive program conducts liquid-based cytology exams utilizing the BD SurePath™ Liquid-based Pap Test System.  This program was implemented by NCC in partnership with its local partner in Cusco – the CerviCusco Clinic.

CerviCusco was founded and is led by Daron G. Ferris, MD, an internationally respected expert in cervical cancer prevention and detection and Professor in the Department of Family Medicine and Obstetrics and Gynecology at Georgia Health Sciences University.

Georgia Southern University, a Carnegie Doctoral/Research University founded in 1906, offers more than 120 degree programs serving more than 20,000 students. Through eight colleges, the University offers bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs built on more than a century of academic achievement. In 2012, the University was named one of the Top 10 most popular universities in the country by U.S. News & World Report and is a top choice of Georgia’s HOPE scholars.  Georgia Southern is recognized for its student-centered approach to education. Visit: www.georgiasouthern.edu.

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